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!??;■■  '■'r::--r:-:.,f:''r::.:^f,::,  V;.:;;;:^ 



A  INovel. 

By   R.  K.  D. 

NEV/  YORK  : 


57  Rose  Street. 





UMVERsmr  OF  Mm  camdliina 





i  :.J 


Mabel  Gordon. 



By  R.  K.  D.  i  - JUp 

(Copyright  1901,  by  J.  S.  Ogilvih  Publishing  Cohfanv.) 

All  Rights  Reserved. 



57  EosE  Street. 



MY    youth;   AND 








Reader^  my  work  is  before  you ;  if  it  only  beguiles 
a  lonely  hour  I  shall  be  glad.  If  it  serves  to  strengthen 
the  faith  of  anyone,  then  "love's  labor"  will  not  have 
been  lost.  If,  also,  someone  should  find  pleasure  in 
criticising  that  which  the  writer,  while  painfully  con- 
scious of  his  inability  to  tell  this  story  perfectly,  yet 
has  done  so  with  care,  somebody  will  be  happy,  and  to 
give  happiness  to  even  one  heart  is  cause  for  gladness. 

R.  K.  D. 



'TwAS  not  the  place  to  look  for  a  high-bred,  hand- 
some young  man,  yet  Allan  Harvey  leaned  against 
Farmer  Gordon's  fence,  though  he  was  evidently  not 
interested  in  the  growing  crops,  and  the  flood  of  melody 
poured  forth  from  the  throat  of  a  mocking-bird  perched 
upon  a  tree  near  by,  fell  on  unheeding  ears. 

"What  can  keep  her  so  late?"  he  said.  "Ah,  there  she 
comes,"  and  with  a  brightening  face  he  started  forward 
to  meet  a  slender,  almost  childish-looking  girl  who  came 
with  light,  quick  steps  across  the  field. 

In  one  hand  she  held  her  sunbonnet,  a  way  she  had 
of  carrying  it  instead  of  on  her  head,  as  was  evidenced 
by  patches  of  freckles  she  hated,  and  which  gave  her 
brother  cause  for  fun  at  her  expense.  In  the  other  she 
carried  a  basket  of  strawberries, 

"Little  loiterer,"  said  he  as  they  met,  "I've  waited 
for  you  till  my  patience  was  almost  gone." 

"Why  did  you  wait  at  all  ?"  she  asked. 

"I  wanted  to  see  my  little  comrade  particularly,"  he 
replied.  "I  came  by  your  home  and  talked  with  the 
dear  mother  a  while.  She  told  me  you  had  gone  to  take 
something  nice  to  old  Mrs.  Jones  and  would  not  be  out 
late.  I  would  have  gone  to  meet  you  had  I  known  what 
route  you'd  take ;  whether  the  road  or  the  path  by  your 
old  nurse's  house;  your  feet  naturally  gravitate  that 


"And  you  are  not  to  say  anything  if  they  do,"  re- 
torted the  girl.    "Mammy  deserves  all  my  devotion." 

"Oh,  I  wouldn't  dare  say  aught  against  the  old 
lady,"  he  said,  smiling,  "for  I  know  what  a  loyal  little 
girl  you  are,  and  then  Mammy  seems  faithful  to  you. 
What  have  you  in  your  basket?  Strawberries?  I 
didn't  know  they  were  ripe." 

"I  found  these  as  I  came  and  stopped  to  pick  them; 
that's  why  I  stayed  so  long.  Father  is  fond  of  them 
with  sugar  and  cream.  Mind,  don't  spill  any.  Won't 
you  stay  and  enjoy  them  with  us  at  supper?" 

"Thank  you,"  he  said,  "but  I'll  have  to  decline  your 
invitation,  tempting  as  it  is.  You  scratched  your  hand, 
little  girl ;  that's  too  bad." 

"Oh,  it  is  nothing,"  she  said,  "and  I  did  it  myself. 
Some  of  the  berries  grew  low  down  on  the  ditch  and  in 
reaching  for  some  I  was  determined  to  get  I  scratched 
my  hand  on  a  briar.  Father's  enjoyment  will  ease  my 

"Mab,"  said  he,  "do  you  know  you  are  the  most  un- 
selfish being  I  ever  saw  ?" 

"Why,  no,"  she  replied. 

"Yes,"  said  he,  "you  are,  and  I  hate  dreadfully  to 
have  to  give  up  this  pleasant  companionship,  but  I 
came  this  afternoon  to  say  good-bye  for  a  long  time." 

"Why  do  you  leave  so  soon?"  asked  the  girl,  her 
face  clouding  slightly. 

"Are  you  sorry,  dear?"  and  Allan's  voice  was  very 

"Yes,"  she  answered  frankly.  "We  wall  miss  you 
very  much.    Mother  enjoys  your  calls." 

"Mrs.  Gordon  is  a  lovely  woman,"  said  he,  "and  her 
daughter  bids  fair  to  be  like  her.  It  gives  me  a  wrench 
to  say  farewell,  but  my  aunt  has  decided  to  take  my 
cousin  Lucile  abroad.  The  climate  and  health-giving 
springs  have  benefitted  Lucile  so  much  she  thinks  she 
can  resume  her  studies,  and  they  want  me  with  them  in 


Berlin.  I  will  take  a  course  in  something.  We  will  be 
gone  quite  a  long  time,  and  when  I  return  my  little 
comrade  will  be  a  young  lady,  and  a  pretty  one  I'll 

The  girl  laughed  in  a  surprised  way  as  she  an- 
swered : 

"Why,  my  hair  is  red,  and,  Willie  says,  never  looks  * 
like  it  is  brushed,  and  I'm  freckled.     Pretty,  indeed ! 
You  never  made  fun  of  me  before." 

"And  I  don't  now,"  he  said.  "This  unruly  hair  will 
some  day  be  beautiful,  with  a  color  artists  love  to  paint, 
and  when  you  learn  to  be  careful  of  your  skin  the 
freckles  will  disappear,  and  these  glorious  eyes  will 
make  you  irresistible.  Don't  let  the  admiration  that 
will  be  yours  change  you,  for  your  artlessness  is  your 
chief  charm.  Keep  that,  and  your  purity;  study  hard 
in  your  books  and  you  will  make  a  splendid  woman; 
one  any  man  might  be  proud  to  call  his  wife." 

The  eyes  raised  to  his  were  full  of  startled  surprise 
as  she  replied : 

"Mother  would  not  like  you  to  talk  so  to  me.  I  am 
very  young." 

"Yes,  sweet  child,"  said  he,  smiling,  "you  are  young, 
but  the  years  go  by  swiftly,  and  ere  long  you  will  be 
a  lovely  woman,  and  then — I  am  coming  back.  Don't 
forget  me,  Mabel." 

"I  couldn't,"  she  said,  simply,  "and  I  will  improve 
the  time.    You  shall  not  be  disappointed  in  me." 

"How  do  you  pass  the  evenings?"  he  asked,  to  pro- 
long the  talk. 

"I  help  mother  if  she  needs  me.  Sometimes  I  read, 
and  then  we  retire  early,  for  we  ri-se  betimes  at  our 

"Unlike  us  at  the  hotel,"  said  he.  "Last  night  we 
had  a  grand  ball,  and  danced  till  the  "wee  sma'  hours" 
came,  and  to-day  we  are  a  lazy  set." 

"I  heard  the  music,"  she  said,  "and  it  was  so  sweet 


that  even  when  I  said  my  prayers  it  drew  my  mind  away 
till  I  was  ashamed,  and  I  wondered  if  you  were  among 
the  dancers." 

A  mental  picture  of  the  young  girl  kneeling  in  her 
white  robe  rose  before  him,  in  strong  contrast  with  the 
gayly  dressed  throng  whirling  in  the  dance  for  hours 
after  she  was  calmly  sleeping,  and  he  looked  at  her 
with  a  fond  smile. 

"Dear,  simple-hearted  child!"  he  exclaimed.  "I 
wonder  if  I'll  find  you  changed  when  I  come  back.  Re- 
member me  always,  Mabel,  and  I  promise  not  to  for- 
get the  little  girl  I  find  so  sweet  that  'tis  hard  to  leave 

He  took  both  the  little  sunburnt  hands  in  his  shapely 
white  one  and  looked  deep  into  the  eyes  which  met  his 
with  the  innocent  look  he  knew  so  well,  though  the 
tears  were  near  just  now ;  then  he  stooped  suddenly  and 
kissed  her,  "for,"  he  said  softly,  "we  may  never  meet 
again."  Then  he  went  away,  and  Mabel  watched  him 
till  the  lithe,  graceful  figure  was  lost  to  sight,  and  with 
a  strange  feeling  of  loneliness  she  went  on  to  her 

Mrs.  Gordon  noticed  that  she  seemed  serious,  and 
she  asked : 

"What  saddens  my  little  girl  ?" 

"Mr.  Harvey  told  me  good-bye  for  a  long  time,"  she 
replied,  "and  I  will  miss  him  very  much." 

"Yes,  and  I'll  miss  him,  too,"  said  the  mother.  "He 
is  a  nice  fellow,  and  I  liked  to  have  him  run  in  occa- 

Then  she  dismissed  the  subject,  and  if  Mabel  felt 
grieved  at  the  loss  of  her  friend  she  was  too  busy  to 
brood  over  it,  and  soon  she  was  as  bright  as  was  her 

She  was  an  only  daughter.  One  son  was  left,  while 
two  gallant  boys  had  laid  down  their  lives  for  their 
country,  and  the  parents'  faces  showed  what  grief  had 


3one  for  them.  Mr.  Gordon  had  been  a  wealthy- 
planter  and  numbered  many  slaves  as  his  own ;  now  the 
fertile  fields  went  untilled,  save  a  small  farm,  for  labor 
was  hard  to  command,  and  he,  like  many  of  his  kind, 
could  not  adjust  himself  to  the  new  order  of  affairs. 
His  children  were  denied  the  advantages  their  birth 
called  for,  and  the  gentle,  cultivated  mother  had  to 
find  time,  with  all  her  arduous  duties,  to  teach  Mabel, 
while  Willie  went  to  the  district  school  a  few  months 
every  year.  The  parents  grieved  that  the  children  were 
deprived  of  so  much  they  had  hoped  for,  but  Mabel  ac- 
cepted the  situation  bravely,  and  went  about  her  many 
duties  cheerfully,  glad  to  lighten  the  mother's  burdens 
m  any  way.  She  was  so  carefully  reared,  so  pure  and 
artless,  she  had  attracted  young  Harvey  from  their  first 
accidental  meeting,  and  he  really  hated  to  leave  her,  but 
when  health  and  strength  came  to  his  petted  cousin,  his 
aunt  decided  to  return  home  and  of  course  he  had  to 
attend  them.  As  he  was  easily  entertained  he  soon  par- 
tially forgot  his  "little  wild  flower." 



Always  fond  of  study,  Mabel  worked  with  added 
zeal  after  Allan  left. 

"For,"  she  said  to  herself,  "he  is  coming  back  some 
time,  and  I  must  please  him.  How  I  wish  'twas  so  I 
could  study  music !  He  loves  that  as  much  as  I  do,  and 
he  said  his  cousin  was  going  abroad  to  perfect  herself 
in  it.  I  wonder  if  there  is  no  way  for  me  to  learn? 
I'll  talk  to  mother  about  it,  and  maybe  she  can  think 
of  a  plan.    She  always  helps  me." 

Not  a  tinge  of  envy  was  there  in  her  heart  toward 
the  luckier  girl ;  her  nature  was  too  sunny  and  pure  for 
that.  While  she  was  moving  about  the  well-kept  dairy, 
thinking  of  her  plans,  her  brother  appeared. 

"Are  you  too  busy,  Mab,  to  stop  a  while?"  he  asked. 
"I  have  to  go  to  town  to  carry  some  things,  and  there 
is  a  seat  on  the  wagon  for  you  if  you'll  go.  Mother 
said  she  could  spare  you,  as  you'd  been  real  smart  to- 
day, and  I  want  to  know  if  she  meant  you  were  lazy 
other  days." 

She  laughed  pleasantly  as  she  put  the  finishing 
touches  to  her  work. 

"Run,  now,"  her  brother  continued,  "and  get  on  the 
clothes  you  want  to  wear,  and  let's  be  off.  Needn't  take 
time  to  comb  your  hair,  for  it  looks  the  same  all  the 
time.    Let  it  be  as  it  is." 

She  was  soon  ready,  and  they  rode  merrily  away, 
Mabel  sitting  straight  and  alert,  occasionally  giving 
Willie  a  sisterly  punch  to  make  him  hold  himself  erect, 
and  telling  him  that  red  hair  and  freckles  were  not  as 
bad  as  stooped  shoulders,  for  they  couldn't  be  helped, 


and  round  back,  when  not  caused  by  illness,  looked  like 
pure  laziness. 

Usually  she  sat  on  the  wagon  and  waited  for  Willie 
to  attend  to  his  errands,  but  as  they  drove  by  the  church 
on  the  quiet  street  they  heard  music,  and  Mabel  turned 
to  her  brother,  her  face  aglow. 

"Willie,  do  let  me  get  out  here  and  go  in  the 
church.  I  hear  the  organist  practicing,  and  'twould  be 
so  much  nicer  to  wait  there,  and  you  could  call  for  me. 
I  know  mother  wouldn't  care,  and  you  don't  need  me, 
for  the  pony  is  gentle  and  will  stand  all  right.  You 
know  'tisn't  often  I  ask  favors,  and  'twill  be  such  pleas- 
ure to  listen  to  the  music  till  you  are  ready  to  go  home. 
I  won't  keep  you  waiting  when  you  call  me." 

"Jump  out,  then,"  said  he,  "if  you  are  sure  mother 
won't  care.  You  have  so  few  pleasures  you  might  en- 
joy this." 

With  a  joyous  "thank  you,  brother,"  she  sprang  to 
the  ground  and  went  quietly  into  the  church,  seating 
herself  where  she  would  not  be  seen.  The  organist 
went  on  with  the  music  till,  at  the  close  of  a  song,  she 
heard  a  long-drawn  sigh,  and,  turning  to  see  whence 
it  came,  discovered  Mabel,  listening  intently,  her  face 
lighted  with  rapture. 

Smiling  kindly  at  the  girl.  Miss  Lane  said : 

"You  are  fond  of  music,  I  see,  and  a  splendid  lis- 
tener.   I  did  not  hear  you  come  in." 

"You  were  playing  so  beautifully,"  said  Mabel,  as 
she  approached  the  lady,  "that  I  made  no  noise.  I  beg 
pardon  for  coming  in  at  all,  but  the  music  was  too 
sweet  for  me  to  resist." 

"And  you  are  very  welcome,"  replied  Miss  Lane.  "It 
would  be  an  inspiration  to  have  such  listeners  all  the 
time.    Do  you  play?" 

"No,  ma'am,"  the  girl  replied;  "mother's  piano  was 
destroyed  during  the  war,  and  we  have  never  been  able 
to  buy  an  instrument  since,  and  I  live  in  the  country 


you  know,  and  not  near  any  teacher.     Then  father 
could  hardly  spare  money  for  me." 

"How  would  you  like  to  take  lessons  from  me?" 
\  asked  Miss  Lane. 

"From  you!"  exclaimed  Mabel.  "Oh,  I  should  be 
so  glad!"  Then  the  look  of  delight  died,  and  she 
added,  "But  you  know  I  told  you  that  father  couldn't 
pay  for  music." 

Miss  Lane  noticed  the  expression  of  the  changing 
face,  and  she  said : 

"But  can't  we  arrange  it  so  that  father's  purse  will 
not  feel  it?  I  have  to  live,  and  if  the  mother  could 
spare  me  butter,  eggs  and  other  things  I  need  your 
music  won't  be  such  a  great  expense." 

"Thank  you,  thank  you,  ma'am,"  the  girl  exclaimed 
in  rapturous  tones.  "I'll  tell  mother  of  your  offer,  and 
she  will  help  me.     She  always  does." 

"A  good  mother  you  have,  I  know,"  said  the  lady. 
"Lay  the  matter  before  her,  and  if  your  parents  agree 
you  would  do  well  to  begin  soon.  You  know  where  I 
live,  and  can  come  when  it  suits  you  best.  I  am  or- 
ganist here,  and  I  practice  after  school  hours.  Some 
day,  perhaps,  little  girl,  you  will  fill  my  place." 

"Ah,  how  nice  'twould  be,"  sighed  the  child,  "and 
how  I  thank  you  for  your  kindness!  You  shall  have 
no  trouble  with  me  if  they  let  me  come." 

"I  apprehend  none,"  said  the  other.  "Hark !  I  hear 
someone  calling  you !" 

"It's  Willie ;  he  was  to  call  for  me  here.  Good-bye, 
Miss  Lane,  till  I  see  you.  I'm  going  home  to  tell 
mother  of  my  good  fortune,"  and  the  happy  child  al- 
most flew  out  to  her  brother,  who  had  disposed  of  his 
produce  and  was  ready  to  return. 

"Had  a  pleasant  time,  sis?"  he  asked  as  she  set- 
tled herself  beside  him. 

"Delightful!"  she  replied.  "Oh,  Willie,  I  am  so 


"You  look  so,  I  declare.  Just  keep  on  being  so  and 
you'll  be  pretty  in  spite  of  freckles  and  red  hair.  Can't 
you  tell  a  fellow  what  pleases  you  ?" 

"Not  now,"  she  said;  "wait  till  I  talk  with  mother 
and  then  I'll  tell  you." 

"I  suppose  father  and  I  come  in  to  the  secrets  only 
when  we  are  needed  to  carry  out  you  ladies'  plans? 
I  feel  happy,  too,  for  the  things  sold  well,  and  by  just 
rights,  sis,  some  of  the  proceeds  belong  to  you." 

"Mother  will  make  that  all  right,"  she  replied.  "I 
am  so  glad  you  did  well  to-day." 

The  conversation  turned  on  other  topics,  and  chatting 
merrily  they  soon  reached  home,  when  Mabel  hurried 
to  her  mother  with  a  request  for  a  "talk."  Mrs.  Gor- 
don knew  from  her  manner  something  unusual  had  oc- 
curred, so  she  answered : 

"Very  well,  but  we  must  attend  to  several  duties  now, 
and  after  supper  we  can  talk  satisfactorily." 

Mabel  worked  with  a  will  till  the  tasks  were  accom- 
plished, and  they  were  seated  by  the  spacious  fire  place, 
wherein  blazed  some  lightwood  fagots,  for  the  evening 
was  cool,  and  Mr.  Gordon  loved  to  watch  the  cheer- 
ful flame,  and  he  could  enjoy  his  pipe  more  then." 

Seizing  a  time  when  Mr.  Gordon  was  out  of  the  room 
Mabel  told  her  mother  of  Miss  Lane's  offer,  and  of 
her  own  intense  desire  to  study  music,  and  Mrs.  Gordon 
said,  as  she  smiled  fondly  at  the  eager,  young  face 
lifted  pleadingly  to  her : 

"I  am  willing,  dear,  and  will  gladly  spare  to  Miss 
Lane  the  things  she  is  so  kind  as  to  let  us  pay  with, 
but  how  will  you  manage  to  get  to  the  village  regu- 
larly ?  Father  and  Willie  are  too  busy  most  of  the  time 
to  carry  you." 

"I  can  fix  that  if  you  and  father  will  consent.  It  is 
only  three  miles  to  the  village,  and  I  can  walk  that  dis- 
tance in  good  weather.    My  work  can  be  so  arranged 


as  not  to  interfere,  and  if  you  knew  how  I  long  to 
learn  I  know  you  would  help  me,"  pleaded  the  girl. 

"My  darling  child,"  said  the  mother,  "I  will  do  all 
in  my  power  to  aid  you.  I  feel  our  inability  to  educate 
you  as  you  should  be,  and  you  are  such  a  faithful  little 
creature  you  deserve  more  than  is  done  for  you.  Ah, 
if  that  cruel  war  had  not  come  you  could  have  every 

"Never  mind,"  said  the  girl,  "I'll  accomplish  my- 
self, and  enjoy  it  far  more.  Now  I  am  going  to  my 
room  to  study  a  while,  and  you  talk  it  over  with  father. 
Don't  sit  up  late,  please,  mother,  for  you  are  not  well, 
and  need  rest,"  and  with  a  fond  kiss  the  girl  took  her 
lighted  candle  and  went  away. 

When  Mr.  Gordon  entered  the  room  he  saw  the  low 
chair  near  his  wife  was  vacant,  and  he  asked  for  Mabel. 

"She  has  gone  off  to  study  a  little  while,"  replied  his 
wife.  "Poor  child,  she  is  so  anxious  to  learn,  and  her 
advantages  are  so  limited,  I  feel  sad  about  her." 

Mr.  Gordon's  face  clouded. 

"Yes,"  he  said;  "it  grieves  me  to  think  our  only 
daughter  must  grow  up  without  the  education  her  birth 
demands.  She  would  take  all  one  could  give.  Even 
as  it  is  she  will  appear  well,  but  it  hurts  me  to  see  her 
brave  efforts.  Ah,  if  I  were  what  I  was  years  ago, 
how  different  life  would  be  to  our  children !" 

"True,  dear;  but  don't  fret,"  comforted  his  wife. 
"Let  us  trust  God  to  bring  out  everything  right,  and 
some  day  we'll  see  the  silver  lining  to  the  cloud  that 
has  overshadowed  us  so  long." 

"May  be  so,"  he  assented,  sighing. 

For  a  while  they  were  silent ;  then  he  asked : 

"Margaret,  what  became  of  that  young  chap,  Har- 
vey, who  used  to  seem  to  fancy  Mabel,  and  who  came 
about  us  often?" 

"He  has  gone  away,"  replied  Mrs.  Gordon.     "His 


cousin's  health  improved  very  much  while  at  the 

"Well,  I'm  glad  he  has  left,"  said  her  husband.  "I 
can't  forget  that  he  belongs  to  a  people  that  ruined 
us  all.  My  noble  boys  would  not  now  be  in  their 
graves  but  for  such  as  he.  I  am  glad  Mabel  was  no 
older,  and  likely  will  forget  him.  I  couldn't  bear  for 
her  to  love  there." 

"Dear  husband,  you  are  too  hard,  I  think,"  the  wife 
spoke,  gently.  "I,  too,  grieve  for  our  boys;  but  he 
lost  a  father  then.  Both  sides  suffered;  ours  is  not 
the  only  home  made  desolate  by  that  cruel  strife  be- 
tween brothers.     I  rather  liked  Mr.  Harvey." 

"What  was  his  loss  compared  to  ours?"  inquired 
Mr.  Gordon.  "He  has  v/ealth  left  to  make  life  pleas- 
ant; he  doesn't  see  the  lone  chimneys  of  his  ancestral 
home  standing  like  sentinels  over  the  ashes  of  that 
loved  home.  He  has  his  luxurious  house  to  go  to,  while 
my  children — the  only  ones  we  have  left  us — are  reared 
in  this  humble  home — my  overseer's  cottage.  Oh,  wife, 
it  is  hard,  hard  for  me  to  feel  as  you  say  I  should !" 

"The  grace  of  our  Lord  can  overcome  these  feel- 
ings, dear,  and  remember,  we  were  thankful  for  such 
a  comfortable  house  as  this  the  day  ours  was  burned, 
and " 

"Yes,  thankful  then  to  have  our  lives  spared,"  re- 
joined Mr.  Gordon,  bitterly. 

"Let  us  talk  of  something  pleasanter  now,"  said  the 
lady,  "and  try,  dear,  to  feel  less  bitter  toward  those 
who  so  cruelly  wronged  us.  Let  me  lay  before  you  a 
plan  of  Mabel's,"  and  she  proceeded  to  tell  him  of 
their  conversation. 

"My  poor  child!"  exclaimed  the  father.  "Again 
comes  in  thoughts  of  our  wrongs,  and  even  your  char- 
ity cannot  excuse  them.  Just  think  of  your  handsome 
piano  split  into  kindling  wood,  and  which  might  now 
be  Mabel's;  and  see  the  sacrifices  she  is  compelled  to 


make!  With  all  her  duties  here,  she  must  often  walk 
into  the  village  to  get  to  an  instrument.  I  will  take 
her  when  not  too  busy,  but  how  can  she  go  other 

"She  said  that  could  be  arranged  if  we  would  con- 
sent, and  I  think  we  can  trust  to  her  resources.  All 
she  seems  to  need  now  is  our  permission,  and  she  is 
such  a  patient,  helpful  child  we  are  blessed  much  in 
our  daughter,  so  you  see  we  have  cause  for  grati- 



The  next  day  Mrs.  Gordon  met  Mabel's  eager  ques- 
tions with  the  required  permission  from  both  parents. 
"And  now,  daughter,  tell  me  how  you  will  manage 
when  father  and  Willie  are  too  busy  to  take  you?"  said 
her  mother. 

"Oh,  don't  you  worry  about  that,"  her  child  replied, 
smiling.  "I  am  going  to  see  old  Mammy,  and  she  will 
help  me  out.  Please  fix  something  nice  for  me  to  take 
to  her.    I  will  not  be  gone  long." 

Mrs.  Gordon  smiled  kindly,  and  went  about  getting 
up  some  "goodies"  to  send  to  the  old  negress,  whom 
she  had  always  found  faithful,  and  who  still  clung  to 
them,  glad  to  occupy  a  little  house  on  their  land,  where 
she  was  cared  for  by  her  daughter  and  tenderly  looked 
after  by  "de  fambly,"  as  she  called  the  Gordons.  She 
took  great  pleasure  in  telling  of  the  past  grandeur  of 
her  "white  folks,"  and  no  one  bewailed  their  condition 
more  than  she. 

Mabel  found  the  old  woman  sitting  near  the  door 
of  her  humble  home,  and  a  warm  welcome  she  gave  her 
"chile."  "Cum  in,  honey,"  she  cried;  "it  duz  my  ole 
eyes  good  ter  see  yer  lookin'  so  well  an'  happy.  Yer 
mus'  fetch  good  news  ter-day !  Viney,  git  little  missy 
a  cheer  an'  tek  de  basket  an'  empty  it.  What  yer  got 
ter  tell  Dicey?     I  see  dar's  sump'n  on  yer  min'." 

"You  are  right.  Mammy,"  answered  Mabel,  as  she 
handed  the  basket  to  Viney  and  seated  herself  near  the 
old  negress.  "I  have  something  you  must  help  me  do, 
and  which  I  am  so  anxious  about.     You  have  never 


failed  me  In  all  my  life,  and  you'll  help  me  now,  won't 

"Dat  I  will  ef  it  in  my  powah,"  responded  Mammy, 
her  dark  face  lit  up  with  anticipation  and  a  sense  of 
her  importance. 

Then  Mabel  told  her  all  her  plan. 

"You  see,  I  could  walk  to  the  village  when  father 
or  Willie  couldn't  take  me,"  she  said,  "and  I  thought 
if  you  could  spare  Viney  sometimes  you  could  stay 
with  mother  while  we  were  gone,  and  let  her  go  with 
me.    You'll  do  this  for  me,  won't  you.  Mammy?" 

"Dis  an'  mo',  too,  my  baby,"  replied  the  woman. 
"I  duz  enjy  gwine  ter  see  Mis'  Marget,  for  she  alius 
got  sump'n  good  ter  eat,  an'  den  it'll  be  heppen'  my 
chile  ter  larn.  Uh!  sum  er  dese  days  I'll  see  yer  a 
gran'  lady  lak  yer  longs  ter  be.  Effen  dem  vilyuns  had 
er  listen'  ter  me  yer'd  er  had  ez  fine  er  planner  ez  enny 
lady  in  de  Ian',  but  la !  dey  nebber  notis  ole  nigga  lak 
me  den,  an'  sot  fire  to  Mahster's  fine  house  an'  bu'nt  it 
up  bodaciously.  Po'  Mis'  Marget  des  sot  wid  her  arms 
roun'  you  an'  yer  brudder  an'  look  lak  her  heart  gAvine 
break.  Dem  wuz  awful  times,  honey,"  and  the  old 
woman  groaned  and  swayed  her  body  as  she  talked. 

"Well,  we  can't  help  matters  by  recalling  them." 
said  Mabel.  "Of  course,  I  remember  the  horror  of  it, 
though  I  was  young,  and  I'll  never  forget  father's 
grief  and  anger.  He  can't  bear  to  speak  of  it  yet. 
Now  tell  me  how  your  aches  are  getting  on." 

"I'se  better,  thank  de  Lawd,  honey,  do'  when  de  win' 
shif's  it  mek  my  bones  ache  pow'ful.  Sumtimes  I 
feared  I  wun't  be  hyur  long,  an'  I  duz  want  ter  stay 
twel  you  an'  Willie  is  dun  rais'  an'  settle  in  life.  You 
mus'  put  all  yo  min'  in  yer  work,  so  when  dat  likely 
young  man  I  seed  yer  walkin'  wid  cum  back  he'll  fin' 
yer  'nudder  sort  frum  de  little  gal  he  lef.  I  'spec'  he^ll 
be  atter  'swadin'  my  chile  away  den,"  and  the  old 
woman  chuckled  heartily. 


Mabel  smiled  as  she  answered  quietly: 

"I  am  too  young  for  him  to  care  in  such  a  way  for 
me;  besides,  his  pretty  cousin  is  with  him  all  the 
time,  and  if  he  cares  for  anyone  'twill  be  her." 

"Yer  call  her  putty  wid  all  dat  paint  an'  powder  on 
her  face,  an'  no  wais'  at  all  ?"  queried  Mammy.  "She 
putmc  in  min'  er  a  was'  mo'  dan  anyt'ing  else.  Go  'way, 
Missy !  ef  he  can't  see  mo'  beauty  in  you  he  sho'  is  blin'. 
But  I  don'  want  yer  ter  love  him,  caze  he  mought  be 
kin  ter  de  one  what  had  our  house  bu'nt,  an'  I  jes' 
can't  gie  my  cawnsent  ter  dat." 

"Don't  trouble  yourself  over  what  is  not  likely  to 
happen,"  said  Mabel.  "I  am  going  to  study  about  my 
books  and  music.  You'll  go  with  me  when  I  need 
you,  Viney?" 

"  'Deed  I  will,  little  Missy,  an'  I'll  tek  az  good  care 
er  you  az  Mammy  would.  I  monstus  proud  yer  gwine 
tek  lessons  same  ez  dem  town  gals,"  and  Viney's  white 
teeth  showed  in  a  broad  smile. 

"I'll  not  need  you  every  time,"  said  Mabel ;  "for 
when  the  pony  isn't  busy  I  can  ride  him.  You  know 
he  is  gentle  and  loves  me." 

"Yo'  ain'  gwine  stop  twel  yo'  neck  is  broke,"  said 
Mammy.  "I  seed  yer  ridin'  de  udder  day,  an'  thought 
de  boss  wuz  runnin'  away  twel  I  heerd  yer  laff.  You 
chillun  iz  ben  skeerin'  me  nigh  'bout  ter  death  all  yer 
life.  Effen  Viney  did'n'  keep  my  hair  wrop  so  tight  it 
'ud  rize  on  eend  menny  er  time." 

Mabel  laughed  as  she  replied : 

"I  don't  want  to  worry  you,  but  it  would  certainly 
be  a  funny  sight  to  see  your  hair  do  that.  You'd  look 
like  some  of  those  pictures  in  that  book  of  travels  we 

"Dat's  one  Willie  fetch  hyur  an'  say  he  want  ter 
show  me  de  picters  er  sum  er  my  cousins  in  Affiky, 
signifyin'  dat  I  look  lak  dem  hidjus  things,  an'  me  no 
mo'  kin  ter  'em  dan  he  iz,  fer  I  bin  a  Gawd'n  all  my 


life;  wuz  bawn  on  dis  plantation,"  said  the  nurse,  a 
trifle  indignantly. 

"He  was  just  teasing  you,"  consoled  Mabel,  "for  he 
really  loves  you.  You  ought  to  have  heard  him  when 
that  Bates  boy  laughed  at  us  for  loving  you." 

"Dat's  dat  lown-down  white  trash  what's  moved 
'bout  hyur  lately,  an'  becawz  dey's  got  plenty  money 
acts  lak  dey  own  de  airth.  Nebber  had  no  black  ones, 
an'  doan'  know  how  ter  treat  'em  now.  I  wish  you 
chillun'  did'n'  haf  ter  'soshiate  wid  sech  trash,"  was  the 
wrathful  reply. 

"Well,  I  sha'nt  be  thrown  with  them  much  now," 
said  Mabel,  "so  comfort  your  proud  old  heart.  Let 
me  have  the  basket,  please,  Viney,  and  I'll  go.  What 
a  pretty  brood  of  little  chicks  you  have  here!"  she  ex- 
claimed as  a  hen  bustled  proudly  by  the  door  with  her 
downy  brood. 

"Dat  de  chick'n  you  gie  me,"  said  the  old  woman, 
"an'  she  de  smahtes'  hen,  to  be  sho'." 

"She  favor  you,  little  Missy,"  said  Viney. 

"Me!"  cried  Mabel.  "Why  Viney,  where  do  you 
see  any  resemblance  ?    It  must  be  that  she  is  speckled." 

"She  so  brisk  an'  go  'bout  de  yard  so  cheerful,  an* 
now  she  hatter  work  she  so  earnes',"  explained  Viney. 

"Willie  said  dat  his  chick'n,"  said  Mammy,  to  which 
Mabel  indignantly  replied : 

"I  wouldn't  claim  or  give  away  anything  not  my 
own.  'Twas  his  at  first,  and  was  so  weak  it  nearly 
died  trying  to  keep  up  with  the  mother,  and  he  gave 
it  to  me.  It  got  so  bad  in  the  house  that  when  I  wanted 
to  give  you  a  hen,  mother  suggested  Pet.  Willie 
should  tell  the  whole  truth." 

"What  gwine  cum  er  dat  boy?"  asked  Mammy.  "He 
so  kin'  hearted,  a  body  'bleege  ter  love  him,  an'  he  do 
torment  us  all  sumtimes.  He  cum  by  hyur  de  udder 
day  on  de  way  fum  de  pastur',  where  he  bin  to  cut 
Brownie  loose  when  she  hung  herse'f  by  de  hawns,  an' 


Viney  wuz  feelin*  po'ly,  so  he  stop  an'  cut  us  er  big 
tu'n  er  wood.  Den  he  axed  me  ef  I  did'n'  want  er 
new  kin'  er  terbakker,  an'  tuck  my  pipe  an'  fill  it  up, 
an'  got  er  live  coal  outen  de  ashes,  an'  I  draw'd  an' 
draw'd  twel  my  jaws  ache,  an'  it  wouldn't  smoke;  den 
I  tuck  it  ter  loosen  it  sum,  an'  'twuz  nigh  full  er  tu'nup 

"That  was  a  bad  trick  to  play  on  you,"  said  Mabel, 
though  she  laughed. 

"But  he  cum  back  next  day,"  continued  Mammy, 
"and  fetch  me  de  nicest  kin'  er  bought  terbakker,  so  I 
had  ter  let  it  all  go.  Yer  gwine,  honey?  Cum  ergin' 
soon,"  and  as  Mabel  promised  to  do  so,  and  walked 
away,  the  old  woman  broke  forth : 

"De  blessedes'  chile  in  dis  worl' !  I  feared  she  neb- 
ber  gwine  be  rais'.  Fetch  me  sum  er  dat  vittles  she 
brung,  Viney;  my  appertite  dun  cum  ter  me,"  and  she 
proceeded  to  prove  her  words,  though  she  interspersed 
the  repast  with  grunts  and  groans,  "thank  de  Lawd!" 
and  praise  of  her  "white  folks." 

Mabel  walked  quickly  homeward,  eager  to  report 
her  success  in  overcoming  the  obstacles  in  her  way. 
Then  she  thought  of  Allan  and  his  promise  to  return 
when  she  should  be  an  accomplished  woman.  No 
doubt  of  him  entered  her  mind,  and  she  determined 
to  be  all  he  had  prophesied  for  her,  save  becoming 
beautiful — that  was  hopeless,  she  believed,  but  a  fine 
character  was  in  her  reach,  and  she  would  satisfy 

She  had  suggested  to  Mammy  the  possibility  of  his 
marrying  his  cousin,  of  whom  he  seemed  fond,  but  in 
her  heart  she  did  not  believe  he  would  marry  anyone ; 
he  would  come  back  her  kind,  genial  friend  and 
comrade,  and  they  would  take  up  life  happ}-  in  each 
other's  society.  Their  tastes  were  alike,  and  she  knew 
he  enjoyed  the  friendship  very  much,  for  he  had  said 
to  her,  "I  am  a  different  being  when  with  you,  little 



j^irl,  for  I  can  drop  all  sham  and  the  silly  ways  I  de- 
spise. You  are  so  sincere  and  pure,  you  compel  a  man 
lo  be  honest.    Mabel,  you  could  not  be  false !" 

"I  would  not,"  she  said.  Mother  and  father  have 
taught  me  to  scorn  such,  and  it  would  kill  them  for 
me  to  be  untrue,"  and  the  dark,  pansy-blue  eyes  looked 
full  in  his  face  with  such  resolution  as  he  had  never 
seen  in  one  so  young. 

"And  some  day  you  will  give  that  pure  heart  into 
a  man's  keeping,  and  if  he  should  prove  false,  what 
then,  ma  belief  Would  you  die  of  a  broken  heart,  or 
become  a  bitter,  cynical  woman?" 

"I  don't  know,"  she  said.  "That  is  so  far  off  I  need 
not  think  of  it  yet,  and  if  it  ever  comes  I'll  pray  the 
Lord  to  give  me  strength  to  bear  it." 

"And  will  He?"  asked  Allan. 

"Oh,  yes,"  she  answered,  confidently,  and  seeing  her 
faith  he  said  no  more  on  that,  but  after  a  silence  he 
spoke  softly : 

"You  are  too  pure  and  good  for  earth,  little  girl; 
but  I  want  you  to  stay  here,  for  the  world  would  lose 
a  great  charm  for  me  if  you  were  gone." 

"You  are  so  kind  to  me,"  she  replied,  "that  if  you 
were  gone  I  should  feel  lost.  Willie  laughs  at  me 
sometimes,  and  hides  my  books  and  don't  want  me  to 
study,  but  he  loves  me  if  he  does  worry  me  lots." 

"That  is  strange  love,  isn't  it?"  he  asked.  "If  I 
had  a  sister  I  think  I  should  be  kinder.  If  he  bothers 
you  too  much  tell  me  and  I'll  punch  his  head." 

"Willie  is  quite  strong,"  she  said,  laughing. 

"And  I  am  not  feeble,"  he  replied,  "and  my  muscles 
are  in  fine  order.  See  how  easily  I  lift  you  over  this 
bad  place  in  the  road,  and  you  are  quite  a  substantial 
little  body.  There,  now,  you  are  all  right,  and  I  must 
leave  you.  We  will  meet  again,  ma  belle,"  and,  lifting 
his  hat,  he  left  her. 

'I*  'n  3K  ?|^  ^^  'J^  ^W  J|t 


Not  many  days  after  meeting  Miss  Lane  Mabel  be- 
gan her  study,  and  no  pupil  was  ever  more  faithful. 
She  was  very  apt  anyway,  and  the  purpose  she  held 
caused  her  to  progress  finely,  to  her  teacher's  delight 
as  well  as  her  own,  and  time  flew  by  as  it  does  to  those 
who  work. 

The  faithful  Viney  reported  wonderful  things  to 
Mammy,  to  which  the  old  soul  listened  deliglitedly. 

"Did'n'  I  alius  tell  yer  she  de  smahtes'  chile  'bout 
hyur?"  asked  the  old  nurse.  "She  gM'ine  tek  de  shine 
offen  dem  udder  gals.  She  er  Gazvd'n,  an'  dey  is  peo- 
ple. I  bless  de  Lawd  I'se  one,  too.  I  bawn  one  on 
'em;  I  ain'  no  bought  trash,  ner  you  ain'  needer.  You 
libs  whar  yo'  bawn,  an'  de  great  Mahster  willin'  we 
gwine  stay  hyur  twel  He  git  ready  ter  sen'  de  charrit 
atter  us.  Dese  fool  niggas  roun'  hyur  can  go  to  Libery 
ef  dey  Avants  ter ;  Dicey  gwine  stay  wid  dem  she  knows. 
I  boun'  heap  er  dem  what  went  away  'ud  cum  back  ef 
dey  could." 

"Little  missy  read  'bout  it  ter  me,"  said  Viney. 
"She  gittin'  putty,  Mammy,"  whereat  the  old  woman 
waxed  wrathful. 

"Look  hyur,  chile,  don'  yer  signify  she  ebber  bin 
ugly.  I  nuss  dat  baby,  an'  partly  rais'  her,  an'  de  time 
ain'  nebber  bin  when  she  'peared  ugly  ter  me,  an'  my 
tas'  iz  des  az  good  az  enny  young  nigga's." 

"I  did'n'  mean  no  harm,"  apologized  the  daughter. 
"I  knows  she  dear  ter  you  ez  yer  own  chile,  an'  I  love 
her,  too.  She  same  az  er  preacher  whar  de  gawspel  is 
consarned.  She  'splain  er  heap  ter  me  de  las'  time  we 
went  ter  de  village." 

"She  gwine  'cordin'  ter  her  raisin',"  said  Mammy,, 
"an'  she  g\vine  keep  in  de  broad  way." 

"Te,  he,"  snickered  Viney.  "Mammy,  don'  you  know 
no  mo'  'bout  scripter  dan  dat?" 

"What  I  say  fer  yer  ter  giggle  at,  gal  ?"  demanded 
her  mother.    "Tiz  de  broad  way,  fer  it  leads  ter  glory 


eberlasting,  an'  it  boun'  ter  be  broad,  so  many  is  trablin' 
in  it.  I  gwine  long  dat  road,  bless  de  Lawd,  an'  sum 
day  dis  po'  ole  pain-racked  body  is  gwine  drap  all  its 
aches  an'  go  sweepin'  in  de  heabenly  gates,"  and  Mam- 
my began  to  clap  her  hands  and  sing,  then  to  shout, 
Viney  looking  on  in  awed  silence  till  the  old  woman 
paused  for  want  of  breath  and  to  wipe  her  shining 
face.  After  a  brief  rest  she  said :  "Gimme  my  stick 
now.  I  gwine  tub  de  house,  a  while.  I  feels  de  need  o' 
sump'n  stranknin',  an'  maybe  Mahster  '11  gie  mc  ur 
dram.  I  'clar  I  kin  hardly  git  up  when  down.  Do, 
Lawd,  be  mussiful  tub  po'  ole  sinner,"  and  with  many 
grunts  and  groans  she  made  her  way  across  the  field 
to  the  house,  where  she  always  found  a  welcome  and 
something  to  "suit  her  appertite." 



Though  engrossed  in  her  studies  and  duties,  Mabel 
often  thought  of  her  absent  friend,  and  wondered  if 
he  would  be  pleased  with  her.  She  loved  study  for  the 
sake  of  knowledge  gained  thereby,  but  Allan  had 
awakened  her  ambition  and  determined  her  to  excel, 
and  at  twenty  years  of  age  she  was  a  highly  cultivated 
young  lady. 

And  beauty  had  come  to  her,  for  added  to  the  noble 
expression  of  her  face  were  other  charms.  The  "un- 
ruly hair"  clustered  in  soft  curls  about  the  fair  brow; 
the  freckles  had  faded,  and  the  deep,  purplish-blue  eyes 
Allan  admired  in  her  early  girlhood  were  indeed  beau- 

While  her  appearance  had  changed,  she  still  kept 
the  simple  faith  and  artless  manner  of  the  girl  he  left 
at  the  bars  that  spring  evening,  years  ago.  Suitors 
came  in  time,  but  to  all  she  gave  a  firm  though  kind 
refusal.  Allan  would  come  some  day  and  they  would 
find  life  full  of  joy.  And  so  believing  she  waited  con- 

Miss  Lane  had  given  up  the  organ  to  her,  for  the 
pupil  had  passed  beyond  the  teacher. 

One  bright  Sabbath  day  in  early  winter,  when  she 
felt  unusually  happy  and  enjoyed  the  services  with  all  ' 
her  heart,  as  she  turned  from  the  organ  to  join  her 
father  who  awaited  her,  she  noticed  going  out  of  the 
church  door  a  lady  and  gentleman  not  belonging  to 
the  regular  congregation.  He  turned  to  speak  to  some- 
one and  she  caught  a  good  view  of  his  face,  when  her 
heart  gave  a  big  throb. 


"It  is  Allan!"  she  said  to  herself.  "He  has  come 
back — to  me." 

She  managed  to  answer  calmly  those  who  spoke  to 
her  as  she  made  her  way  to  her  father,  who  helped  her 
to  a  seat,  and  they  were  well  started  before  he  said : 

"Daughter,  did  you  see  Mr.  Harvey  this  morning? 
He  was  in  church." 

"Yes,  sir;  and  the  lady  with  him  I  supposed  to  be 
his  cousin,  Lucile,"  she  replied,  glad  that  she  had  put 
on  a  thick  veil  and  hidden  her  face.  Not  for  worlds 
would  she  have  had  anyone  see  her,  for  at  the  mere 
mention  of  Allan's  name  the  telltale  color  mantled  the 
fair  cheeks. 

"Cousin,  and  wife,  too,"  responded  Air.  Gordon. 

"Father!"  she  exclaimed,  "you  must  be  mistaken." 

"I  heard  him  say  so,"  maintained  the  old  man.  "Her 
health  is  bad,  and  he  has  come  to  the  Springs,  where 
she  was  much  benefited  years  ago." 

"I  remember  that  the  water  did  her  good  then.  She 
has  always  been  delicate,"  the  poor  girl  forced  herself 
to  answer  quietly,  while  her  heart  sickened  and  every- 
thing became  dark  to  her. 

Poor  fool  that  she  had  been  to  let  a  few  sweet  words 
take  hold  of  her  as  his  had  done,  and  cause  her  to 
build  such  hopes  as  she  found  then  that  she  had  done. 
Now  all  that  love  she  unwittingly  gave  him  must  be 
crushed  if  it  took  her  life,  and  her  parents  must  not 
know  of  her  suffering.  Only  One  could  help  her,  and 
she  breathed  a  silent  prayer  to  Him.  The  time  had 
come  of  which  Allan  spoke,  and  she  had  said  her  God 
would  give  her  strength  for  the  trial. 

She  wanted  to  steal  off  where  no  one  could  see  her, 
and  pour  out  her  soul  in  prayer,  but  when  they  reached 
home  there  were  duties  to  attend  to,  so  she  stifled  her 
feelings  and  quietly  helped. 

At  dinner  Mr.  Gordon  told  his  wife  of  Harvey's  re- 


"Did  you  see  him,  Mabel  ?"  asked  her  mother. 

"Yes,  ma'am,  and  his  cousin  also.  They  are  mar- 
ried now,"  she  replied  steadily. 

"Indeed !  Well,  I  am  not  surprised,  for  I  heard  she 
was  very  fond  of  him.  Do  you  feel  like  going  with  me 
to  see  Mrs.  Smith.  Mabel?  I  heard  to-day  she  was 
quite  sick  and  needing  attention,  so  I  can't  wait  till  to- 

"Please  excuse  me  this  afternoon,  mother,  and  take 
Willie.  I  have  a  severe  headache  and  would  like  to 
rest.    Brother,  won't  you  take  my  place?" 

"I  would  be  glad  to  go,  sis,  but  there  is  a  little  busi- 
ness for  me  to  look  after  to-day,"  replied  her  brother. 

Mr.  Gordon  looked  at  him  smilingly. 

"Business  to-day,  my  son?  Are  you  a  Sabbath- 

"You  can  hardly  call  me  that,  sir.  I  am  better 
trained.  Mab  knows  what  it  is.  Nellie  Bruce  scarcely 
spoke  to  me  to-day,  and  I  must  find  out  what  is  wrong. 
Somebody  is  getting  in  my  way,  I  think,  and  it  must 
be  stopped." 

"So,  wife,  it  falls  to  my  lot  to  escort  you,"  said  Mr. 

"And  then  you  must  lose  your  nap,  but,  dear,  you 
know  the  poor  woman  is  sick,"  said  his  wife. 

"Yes,  and  I  know,  too,  your  slumbers  would  not  be 
sweet  to  you  to-night  if  you  failed  to  relieve  suffer- 
ing. So,  my  good  lady,  fix  up  your  goodies  and  get 
ready  and  I'll  take  you.  Mabel  doesn't  look  bright, 
and  needs  a  nap  worse  than  I,  while  this  young  man 
has  to  look  after  a  case  in  Cupid's  court.  Well,  son, 
I  know  how  it  was  with  me  at  your  age,  so  you  are  ex- 

"Thank  you,  sir.  I  will  not  be  out  late.  Come, 
Mab,  and  brush  me  up  a  little.  I  must  be  all  right 

"Go  by  Mammy's  house,  my  son,  and  take  her  this," 


said  Mrs.  Gordon,  giving  him  a  package.  "The  old 
creature  always  looks  for  some  of  our  dinner." 

"And  she  isn't  disappointed  often,  eh,  wife'*  AVell, 
she  was  faithful  when  the  others  proved  false  and  she 
shall  not  want." 

Mrs.  Gordon  watched  her  boy  as  he  rode  away.  He 
was  a  handsome  fellow,  and  sat  his  horse  well,  and  to 
her  motherly  eyes  a  boy  to  be  proud  of,  but  she  sighed 
as  she  turned  to  her  husband,  saying: 

"It  seems  but  yesterday  since  he  was  a  child,  and 
now  he  is  a  man  with  manly  hopes.  How  our  children 
grow  away  from  us !" 

"We  keeps  ours  right  well,"  comforted  her  hus- 
band. "I  am  glad  Mabel  seems  so  content.  'Twill  be 
a  sad  day  for  us  when  she  leaves." 

"I  trust  we  may  keep  her,"  said  the  mother  fer- 
vently. "I  don't  feel  easy  when  she  complains.  She 
is  so  patient!" 

"She  sang  too  much  to-day,  I  reckon,  and  brought 
on  that  headache.  She  will  be  well  after  a  good  nap. 
Get  ready,  wife;  the  afternoons  are  short,"  replied  Mr. 

Mrs.  Gordon  finished  her  preparations,  then  went 
quietly  into  their  "best  room"  to  see  that  the  wood  fire 
was  doing  well,  and  to  throw  a  blanket  over  the  daugh- 
ter so  dear  to  her. 

"I'll  be  well  when  you  return,  mother,  so  don't  worry 
at  all  about  me,"  said  Mabel.  "I'm.  going  to  sleep 
right  ofif." 

But  sleep  did  not  come  at  her  bidding,  and  lying 
there  thinking  of  her  shattered  hopes  Mabel  heard  a 
step  on  the  porch  floor,  and,  rising  wearily  to  answer 
a  rap,  she  stood  face  to  face  with  Allan. 

"You !"  she  exclaimed,  almost  recoiling. 

"Yes,  I,"  he  said,  smiling  joyously,  and  extending 
his  hand.  "Have  you  forgotten  your  old  friend  ?  Has 
my  little  comrade  no  welcome  for  me?" 


"I  was  startled,"  she  said,  and,  remembering  it  was 
her  home,  she  asked  him  in,  though  she  was  trembhng 
so  she  could  scarcely  stand. 

He  walked  confidently  into  the  pretty  room  and 
seated  himself  with  easy  grace  in  a  chair  near  the  one 
she  sank  into.  Travel  and  time  had  developed  him 
into  a  very  handsome  man,  and  now,  with  flushed 
cheeks  and  eyes  brilliant  with  joy,  he  seemed  to  her 
like  some  radiant  vision. 

''Where  is  the  family?'  he  asked.  "I  want  to  see 
them  all.  Tell  me  you  are  glad  to  see  me,  Mab,  for  I 
am  overjoyed  at  the  sight  of  you.  And  you  have  veri- 
fled  my  prediction  and  gone  beyond  my  wildest  fancy. 
I  could  hardly  believe  that  beautiful  young  lady  pre- 
siding so  gracefully  at  the  organ  to-day  was  the  same 
little  girl  to  whom  I  bade  a  sorrowful  good-bye  at  the 
pasture  bars.  Did  you  miss  me  much,  Mabel,  and  did 
you  want  me  to  come  back  ?  You  have  studied  hard,  I 
know,  and  are  you  ready  to  take  your  place  in  life  ?" 

'T  really  don't  know  just  what  my  place  is,"  she 
replied.  'T  try  to  do  my  duty  all  the  time  and  trust  to 
Providence  to  lead  me  aright." 

"The  same  trustful  little  soul,"  he  said,  smiling  ten- 
derly. "Ah,  Mabel,  it  had  been  better  for  me  if  I 
could  have  felt  as  you  do !" 

"Tell  me  of  your  stay  abroad,"  she  said. 

"Let  us  not  speak  of  that  now,"  he  answered.  "I 
want  to  talk  about  you.  Have  you  no  plans  for  the 

"A  lady  whose  husband  was  ill  at  the  Springs  wants 
me  to  go  to  her  as  her  daughter,  but  my  parents  can't 
spare  me.  She  says  she  is  coming  for  me  some  time. 
She  is  Mrs.  Rowland,  of  New  York.  Perhaps  you 
know  her?"  replied  Mabel. 

"Mrs.  George  Rowland!  Certainly  I  know  her. 
Her  husband  is  dead,  and  she  lives  with  her  brother, 


Colonel  Chester.     The  other  brother  is  in  an  asylum 
for  the  insane." 

"Does  insanity  run  in  the  family?"  she  asked  . 

"Oh,  no!  Louis  and  Rudolf  Chester  were  twins, 
?.nd  perfectly  devoted  to  each  other,  and  Louis  fell  in 
love  with  a  young  lady  who  seemed  to  love  him  dearly, 
but  a  richer  man  came  along  and  she  jilted  Mr.  Ches- 
ter for  him,  and  he  went  crazy,  and  Rudolf  became  a 
woman-hater.  He  is  a  very  handsome,  brilliant  man, 
but  cold  as  ice  to  all  ladies.  I  don't  remember  ever 
seeing  him  notice  a  woman  more  than  politeness  re- 
quires. He  is  very  fond  of  his  sister,  who  has  been 
like  a  mother  to  him,  she  being  much  older  than  the 
boys.  I  never  saw  a  man  love  his  brother  as  devotedly 
as  Colonel  Chester  loves  poor  Louis." 

"And  he  went  mad  because  a  girl  jilted  him!  I 
didn't  know  a  man  could  love  like  that,"  replied  Mabel. 

"You  didn't  know  men  could  love  so  much !  Why, 
Mabel,  what  do  you  mean  ?  Certainly  we  love  as  deeply 
as  it  is  possible  for  any  creatures  to  love." 

"So  you  loved  your  cousin  devotedly?  She  must  be 
a  happy  woman  to  be  your  wife." 

"My  wife!"  said  he.  "How  do  you  know  I  have 

"I  heard  it  to-day.     Isn't  it  true?" 

"Yes,"  he  said,  "I  am  married,  and  I  want  to  tell 
you  how  it  happened." 

"Why  tell  me?  I  can  guess  very  easily.  It  was 
natural  you  should  prefer  her  to  any  other,"  she  said 
very  quietly. 

"But  I  must  tell  you,"  he  insisted.  "Lucile  and  I 
were  joint  heirs  to  an  uncle,  and  he  wanted  us  to  in- 
herit together  all  he  left,  and  if  we  did  not  marry  we 
forfeited  all.  She  seemed  to  love  me  very  dearly,  and 
as  I  knew  not  then  what  love  was,  the  arrangement 
suited  me  very  well.  Besides,  I  needed  the  money,  for 
I  could  not  get  along  without  plenty  of  that." 


"And  you  sold  yourself?" 

His  face  burned,  and  his  eyes  fell  under  her  clear 

"Yes,"  he  admitted;  "but  when  I  did  it  I  did  not 
know  what  love  was ;  now  anything  could  be  given  up 
for  freedom." 

"Hush !"  she  exclaimed  in  horror.  "Don't  talk  so. 
Think  how  miserable  your  wife  would  be  if  she  knew 
you  felt  as  you  do." 

"I  must  speak,"  he  said.  "My  feelings  overpower 
me,  and  you  must  know  who  taught  me  what  love  is. 
'Twas  a  little  girl,  and  had  I  known  at  that  time  what 
was  in  store  for  me  I  would  have  won  my  darling 
then,  but  it  was  not  revealed  to  me  till  to-day,  when  I 
sat  in  church  and  listened  to  your  sweet  voice  and 
watched  your  dear  face.  I  didn't  mean  to  ever  let  you 
know  of  this,  but  since  I've  seen  you  here,  and  felt  the 
charm  of  your  presence,  I  realize  life  to  me  is  nothing 
unblest  by  your  love.  No,  I  won't  hush!  You  shall 
hear  me,  though  you  spurn  me  from  you." 

Leaning  forward,  he  caught  her  hand  in  his. 

"Oh,  Mabel,  you  once  cared  for  me — I  know  you 
did — and  my  love  for  you  is  so  deep,  so  intense,  you 
must  return  it.  Dearest,  I  am  rich,  and  can  give  you 
all  that  heart  may  wish.  Go  with  mc  to  the  city  and 
be  my  soul-bride.  I  will  care  for  Lucile  and  let  her 
want  for  no  attention,  but  I  want  5'ou  to  go  to  when  I 
am  tired  of  everything.  You  are  a  part  of  myself.  Oh, 
Mabel,  don't  took  so  horrified.  Other  men  live  thus, 
and  why  not  I?  Will  you  go,  love,  and  bless  my  life? 
I  would  offer  you  honorable  marriage  if  I  could,  but  I 
am  fettered,  while  all  my  heart  is  yours.  Will  you  go 
with  me?    Speak,  Mabel." 

His  words  had  come  in  such  a  torrent,  and  she  was 
so  stunned  with  surprise  she  could  hardly  speak  at  first ; 
then,  raising  both  hands  and  with  a  face  filled  with 
horror,  she  almost  moaned: 


"My  God !  Oh,  my  God !"  and  the  agony  and  en- 
treaty in  her  voice  pierced  the  man  before  her. 

"Mabel!  Oh,  Mabel."  he  cried,  "don't  look  like 
that!  don't  turn  from  me  in  horror!  I  don't  mean  to 
hurt  you.  I  love  you  so  dearly  I  couldn't  help  asking 
you  to  go  with  me.    Dearest,  hear  me  1" 

"Go  with  you  into  sin!"  she  cried.  "Leave  all  I 
hold  dear  for  such  a  life!  Oh,  Allan,  yon  told  me  to 
keep  my  purity  and  truth  always,  and  you  are  the  only 
one  to  suggest  wrong  to  me.  You  are  trying  to  make 
me  false  to  myself,  my  parents  and  my  God.  You  are 
false  to  your  wife;  false  to  everything  noble.  Leave 
me!  Go  where  I  will  never  see  you  again.  Oh,  that 
the  friend  I  loved  and  trusted  should  fall  so  low.  Dear 
Lord,  forgive  him  this  awful  sin,  and  be  merciful,  oh ! 
be  merciful !" 

"Mabel,"  he  said,  his  voice  hoarse  and  face  deadly 
white,  "don't  drive  me  from  you.  I  meant  no  harm.  I 
didn't  intend  letting  you  know  I  cared  for  you  other 
than  a  friend,  but  when  I  saw  you,  and  realized  all 
you  are  to  me,  my  strength  gave  way.  I  forgot  every- 
thing save  the  desire  to  make  you  mine.  Forgive  me, 
please,  and  say  you'll  let  me  come  to  see  you  some- 
times. I  will  be  a  man,  and  in  no  way  pain  or  insult 
you.  Only  let  me  come  to  see  you.  Think  how  I  suf- 
fer, and  be  kind." 

"No,"  she  said,  through  lips  drawn  with  suffering; 
"never  again.  You  are  dead  to  me.  My  dear  friend 
is  dead,  and  in  his  place  is  a  man  I  can't  trust.  Your 
stay  abroad  has  not  improved  you.  Oh,  if  you  had 
never  gone!" 

He  buried  his  face  in  his  hands  and  groaned : 

"If  I  had  not !  Oh,  if  I  had  not  gone.  What  would 
I  not  give  to  be  to  you  what  I  once  was !" 

"Leave  me,"  she  said,  "and  if  you  can  face  your 
wife  go  to  her.  She  is  to  be  pitied,  while  I — oh,  it 
would  be  sweet  to  lie  down  and  die." 


"Don't  talk  so,  Mabel,"  he  pleaded.  "You  cannot 
suffer  more  than  I,  for  I  have  lost  your  respect  and 
friendship,  while  I  love  you  hopelessly.  Tell  me  good- 
bye and  I  will  go  back  and  take  up  my  burden  alone." 

He  took  her  hands  that  were  so  cold  they  frightened 
him,  and  almost  crushed  them  in  his  burning  palms, 
then  raised  them  to  his  mouth. 

"Good-bye,"  he  whispered  with  quivering  lips. 
"Gods!  but  this  is  worse  than  death!" 

Releasing  her  hands,  he  strode  away,  while  she 
sought  her  room  and  fell  on  her  bed  in  an  agony  of 
grief,  and  when  her  parents  returned  they  found  her 
ill  indeed.  She  could  not  tell  her  mother  the  true 
cause  of  the  attack  lest  her  father  should  learn  it  and 
in  his  wrath  do  something  terrible.  Her  only  conso- 
lation was  in  prayer,  and  it  was  well  she  had  a  refuge, 
a  comforter  w^ho  could  strengthen  her  then.  Allan  had 
told  her  that  her  purity  and  sincerity  attracted  him 
most,  and  she  must  be  the  noble  woman  her  childhood 
gave  promise  of.  Now,  because  he  claimed  to  love  her, 
he  could  ask  her  to  lead  a  life  of  fearful  sin — could  ask 
her  to  give  up  all  she  held  dear  on  earth  and  her  hope 
of  heaven.  And  he  said  other  men  led  the  life  he  pro- 
posed. Could  it  be  true,  and  could  she  ever  trust  any 
man  again?  Her  idol  had  fallen  and  dragged  others 
down  with  him. 

Had  he  died  she  could  have  mourned  him  as  a  sweet 
memory,  but  this — this  death  of  all  that  was  high  and 
noble  and  pure  in  him  was  so  bitter,  no  wonder  she 
shuddered  and  sickened;  that  it  was  days  before  she 
could  take  her  place  in  the  household,  and  that  her 
white  face  and  listless  manner  alarmed  the  watchful 



"The  weather  has  turned  so  cold,"  said  Mrs.  Gordon 
at  breakfast  one  morning,  "that  we  must  look  after 
Mammy.  She  suffers  from  rheumatism  anyhow,  and 
these  changes  are  bad  on  her." 

"Til  go  over  and  see  what  she  needs,"  volunteered 

"Do  you  feel  able,  daughter?"  asked  Mr.  Gordon. 
"We  can't  let  you  risk  yourself  even  for  your  beloved 

"It  will  do  me  good  to  get  out  of  the  house  a 
while,"  replied  Mabel,  "besides,  I'm  getting  spoiled 
and  selfish,  and  it  is  time  for  me  to  think  of  others." 

"You  don't  know  anything  about  selfishness,"  said 
the  mother.  "Don't  walk  fast  and  bring  on  that  head- 
ache again.  I  was  very  anxious,  and  if  it  returns  will 
call  in  the  doctor." 

"I  don't  need  him,"  said  the  girl  quietly.  "Now, 
while  I  put  on  my  wraps  you  prepare  something  nice 
for  me  to  take  Mammy.  I  won't  be  back  right  away. 
She  will  want  me  to  stay  and  talk  and  read  for  her." 

She  was  soon  ready,  and  started  with  full  hands,  glad 
to  get  out  in  the  fresh,  crisp  air. 

IMammy's  eyes  were  getting  dim.  but  she  saw  at 
once  that  her  "chile"  had  been  ill  and  that  the  young 
face  was  sad. 

"I  mi'ty  po'ly,  honey,"  she  said,  in  answer  to  Mabel's 
greeting.  "I  ain'  been  well  'tall,  an'  I  miss  yo'  pow'ful. 
It  been  long  time  tub  me  since  yer  cum.  Whut  de  mat- 
tah  dat  de  sunshine  gone  outen  yer  face?  Iz  yer  sick, 
ur  iz  yer  in  trouble?  Ef  yer  iz,  tell  me  lak  yer  uster 
when  yo'  er  little  gal    an'    got    inter    botherments. 


Young  Mr.  Harvey  dun  cum  ter  de  Springs.  Iz  yer 
seen  him,  an'  iz  he  az  Hkely  az  he  wuz  befo'  he  went 
ter  furrin  parts?" 

"Oh,  Mammy,"  exclaimed  the  girl,  "don't  mention 
him,  please !" 

The  old  woman  studied  her  face  a  moment,  then  she 
asked : 

"Chile,  whut  yer  mean?  I  feared  he  hung  roun'  you 
too  much  when  he  'bout  hyur,  an'  den  yer  so  young  I 
hoped  he  nebber  got  yer  heart.  Now  ef  he  haz  hu't 
you  I  hopes  he'll  nebber  have  anudder  hour  o'  peace. 
De  fus'  time  I  sees  him  I  low  tub  tell  him  jes'  whut  I 
think  er  him.  Dis  iz  near  'bout  bad  az  burnin'  de 
house,  an'  he  ain'  wuff  greevin'  ober,  an'  I  'lows  ter 
tell  him  er  his  meanness,"  and  for  a  time  Mammy's 
indignation  got  the  better  of  her  rheumatism. 

"You  must  not  do  that,"  said  Mabel.  "He  can't 
help  matters  being  as  they  are,  and  he  musn't  know  I 
care  at  all.  He  is  married  now,  and  it  is  a  sin  even  to 
think  of  him,  and  I  do  want  to  keep  from  wrong  of 
any  kind." 

"Dat  you  do,"  assented  Mammy.  "Yer  de  bes'  chile 
I  knows,  an'  de  Lawd  not  g~\vine  let  you  suffer  long, 
fer  He  promises  ter  be  wid  dem  dat  trustes  Him,"  and 
rising  with  difficulty  from  her  chair,  the  old  woman 
hobbled  to  her  "chest,"  a  long  box  with  leather  hinges, 
and  carefully  took  out  a  bible  which  she  handed  to 
Mabel.  "Heer,  chile,"  she  said,  "dis  iz  de  place  tub  fin' 
help.  Dis  blessed  book  got  lot  o'  comfort  in  it  fer  sick 
an'  fiicted  folks.  Read  whar  it  talk  'bout  'bidin'  under 
de  wings,  fer  dat  whar  yo'  stays.  Why,  honey,  how 
3^er  reck'n  ole  IMammy  'd  stan'  all  dese  aches  an'  pains 
if  de  Lawd  didn'  help  me.  an'  He'll  do  az  much  fo'  you. 
He  kin  heal  er  wounded  heart  if  it  iz  broke  ober  er 
triflin'  man.  Read  on,  now,"  and,  folding  her  hands, 
Mammy  settled  herself  to  listen  reverently,  her  tur- 
baned  head  nodding  assent,  while  she  gave  vent  occa- 


sionally  to  low-toned  ejaculations  of  "Bless  de  Lawd !" 

And  it  comforted  Mabel  to  see  her  rejoicing  over 
the  precious  truths  and  hear  her  faith  in  them. 

Mammy  saw  the  young  face  grew  more  cheerful  as 
she  read,  for  she  opened  her  eyes  once  in  a  while  to 
watch  the  effect,  and  when  she  thought  best,  she  said : 

"Stop  readin',  baby;  yer  head  ain'  non'  too  well  yet. 
Shet  de  book  an'  let's  tawk  sum  now.  Yer  feels  better 
dan  yer  did.  Put  yer  head  in  my  lap  an'  let  me  pet 
yer  lak  I  uster  when  yer  wuz  ailin'.  Yo'll  nebber  be 
nuttin'  but  er  baby  fer  me.  Set  in  dis  low  cheer  by 
me  an'  lay  yer  head  on  my  knee.     My  apun's  clean." 

Mabel  smilingly  did  as  she  was  told,  for  she  was  in 
a  condition  to  want  just  such  caressing,  and  the  old 
nurse's  touch  on  her  head  recalled  her  childhood  days. 
After  a  silence  she  said : 

"Mammy,  what  would  you  say  to  my  going  away 
from  here?" 

"Eh!"  exclaimed  the  woman;  "yer  not  wantin'  ter 
leab  us,  honey?  How  Mahster  and  Mis'  Marget  gwine 
spar'  yer,  an'  how  I  gwine  git  on  widout  yer  ?" 

"You  know  Nellie  has  promised  to  marry  Willie  in 
the  springtime,  and  as  my  parents  already  love  her  she 
can  fill  my  place  at  home.  As  for  you,  you  dear  old 
soul,  I  don't  know  how  you'll  make  out,  and  I  hate  to 
leave  you,  but  I  feel  that  it  is  best  for  me  to  go  away,  at 
least  for  some  time." 

"I  unnerstan',"  said  Mammy,  "an'  I'll  tawk  ter 
mistis  an'  try  ter  'swade  her  dat  yer  needs  er  change. 
Yer  duz  look  mi'ty  peaked  an'  white,  but  dis  place 
gwine  be  lonesum  az  er  graveyard  when  yo'  goes  off. 
I'll  pray  fer  de  Lawd  ter  guide  yer  an'  fetch  yer  back  in 
peace.  Cum  often  an'  we'll  read  de  blessed  scripters 
an'  tawk." 

"I  feel  better  since  talking  with  you,"  said  Mabel, 
"and  if  I  do  go  away  I'll  miss  you  sadly,  for  who  will 
humor  me  as  you  do  ?" 


"I  dunno,  honey,"  replied  Mammy.  "Dey  ain'  no- 
body lak  ole  Mammy,  an'  yer  seem  ter  me  same  az  my 
own  blood.  Menny  er  time  I'm  hel'  yer  in  dese  arms 
an'  walked  de  flo'  hours  at  a  time  when  yer  sick.  An 
now  yer  gwine  leab  me.  Well,  I  s'poze  it  natterel,  an' 
in  dis  case  sorter  'bleegin' ;  fer  yer'll  git  ober  yer  hurt 
quicker  effen  yo'  quit  stayin'  where  yer  can'  see  nottin' 
but  whut  yer  think  er  dat  'sateful  creeter.  It'll  teat 
my  heart  ter  see  yer  go,  but  sum  day,  honey,  weze 
goin'  whar  dar'll  be  no  sorrerful  partin's  ner  achii^ 
hearts,  an'  ef  yer  beautiful  home  wuz  'stroyed,  yer'll 
hab  one  so  glor'us  it'll  mek  up  ter  all.  I'll  pray  fer 
yer.  Yo'  gwine  now  ?  Tell  mistis  I  mi'tily  'bleeged  ter 
her  fer  de  wine  an'  'intment,  an'  fer  'tendin'  ter  my 
'stresses,  an'  tell  Willie  my  woodpile  gittin'  scace." 

Promising  to  remind  her  brother  and  to  return  soon, 
Mabel  left.  The  old  nurse  stood  in  the  doorway  watch- 
ing her  with  anxious  eyes,  for  the  girl  walked  with  a 
languid  step,  far  different  from  her  usual  light,  quick 
tread,  and  Mammy  shook  her  head  in  strong  disap- 
proval, muttering  something  about  "wringin'  dat  ras- 
cal's head  off." 

It  was  nearer  by  way  of  the  bars,  and  Mabel  took 
the  old  familiar  path  through  the  field.  How  long  ago 
it  seemed  since  that  day,  when,  her  heart  filled  with 
the  joy  of  having  given  happiness  to  a  poor  sufferer, 
and  anticipation  of  the  pleasure  in  store  for  her  dear 
ones  at  the  evening  meal,  and  walking  with  the  buoy- 
ancy of  youth,  she  found  Allan  waiting  impatiently  for 

Then  the  sun  shone  with  a  lustre  soft  and  the  birds 
sang  sweeter  than  e'er  before.  All  Nature  seemed  to 
be  rejoicing  in  vernal  beauty,  and  she  felt  like  saying, 
*'The  world  is  very  beautiful.  Oh,  my  God,  I  thank 
thee  that  I  live !" 

Now  winter's  chill  had  fallen  over  the  earth;  the 
trees  tossed  naked  boughs  in  the  wind;  dead  leaves 


rustled  under  foot ;  from  a  distance  came  the  sound  of 
bleating  sheep,  and  at  any  time  the  plaincive  cry 
pierced  her  heart.  Her  summer  sun  had  gone,  "leav- 
ing behind  a  dreary  waste,  all  dead,  and  cold,  and 

Could  she  ever  take  hold  of  life  again?  A  numb- 
ness seemed  to  have  settled  over  her ;  even  her  prayers 
after  that  first  wild  cry  for  help  seemed  almost  void  of 
feeling.  Heart  and  soul,  as  well  as  the  frail  body, 
were  sick,  and  the  Great  Physician  must  touch  with 
healing  fingers  to  bring  the  "harp  of  a  thousand 
strings"  into  perfect  tune  once  more.  Fortunately  she 
had  given  herself  into  His  care  unreservedly. 

A  while  she  stood  with  her  arms  on  the  fence  till  a 
step  near  by  aroused  her,  and  turning  her  head  she  met 
Allan's  wistful  gaze.  The  blood  rushed  to  her  face 
and  she  drew  back  as  he  advanced  a  step. 

"Forgive  me,  please,"  he  said  gently.  "I  couldn't 
resist  the  desire  to  revisit  the  place  where  we  parted, 
trusting  each  other  entirely.  Will  you  speak  to  me, 
Mabel,  and  tell  me  you  forgive  me?  You  can't  know 
what  I've  suffered  since  we  last  met,  or  you  certainly 
would  forgive  me  freely." 

He  did  look  haggard,  and  she  could  not  repress  a 
feeling  of  pity.  As  he  searched  her  face  with  his  eyes 
he  saw  the  change  there. 

"You,  too,  have  suffered,"  he  said.  "Your  dear 
face  shows  it,  and  I,  unhappy  wretch,  caused  it!" 

"Yes,"  she  replied,  "I  have  felt  such  agony  as  you 
can  know  nothing  of.  To  have  one  I  honored  and 
trusted  fall  so  low  was  bitter  sorrow  to  me." 

"I  know  it,"  said  he,  "and  it  hurts  me  as  much  as 
to  give  you  up.  I  entreat  your  pardon.  You  are  so 
good  and  pure  you  tio  nothing  wrong,  and  you  can't 
understand  my  feelings ;  but  surely  one  so  kind  cannot 
withhold  forgiveness  to  a  penitent  being.  Besides,  the 
Savior  you  worship  enjoined  a  forgiving  spirit." 



*I  do  no  sin!"  she  cried.  "Oh,  if  you  only  knew 
how  I  struggle  against  it !  If  my  Heavenly  Father  was 
not  so  kind  what  would  become  of  me?  Go  to  Him, 
Allan,  and  pray,  pray  for  strength  to  overcome  this 
terrible  sin.  and  in  time  peace  will  come  to  you." 

"I  am  afraid  my  prayers  will  avail  nothing,"  said 
he.     "Will  you  pray  for  me?" 

"Yes,"  she  replied;  "but  you  must  not  come  about 
me  till  you  conquer  yourself  completely." 

He  sighed  heavily  as  he  said : 

"It  will  be  as  you  wish.  I  feel  so  unworthy  of  any 
kindness  that  I  will  not  presume.  I  am  deeply  grate- 
ful for  this  opportunity  of  seeing  and  talking  with  you 
once  more.  Oh,  Mabel,  when  I  turn  away  from  you 
all  the  light  goes  out  of  my  life.  The  future  is  dark, 
dark  to  me." 

The  sadness  of  his  tone  and  face  touched  her,  and 
her  eyes  were  full  of  unshed  tears.  After  a  little 
silence  she  said : 

"You  remember  one  of  our  favorite  poets  beauti- 
fully says : 

"  'Man  cannot  make,  but  may  ennoble  fate 
By  nobly  bearing  it/  " 

She  had  not  meant  to  call  forth  any  of  Meredith's 
exquisite  "Farewell,"  but  with  deepening  tones  he  re- 
peated : 

"And  I  shall  feel,  whatever  we  may  be. 
E'en  tho'  in  absence  and  an  alien  clime, 
The  shadozv  of  the  sunniness  of  thee, 
Hovering  in  patience,  through  a  clouded  time. 

"Farewell!    The  dawn  is  rising,  and  the  light 
Is  making  in  the  east  a  faint  endeavor 
To  illuminate  the  mountain  peaks.     Good-night, 
Thine  own,  and  only  thine,  my  love,  forever," 


Her  heart  was  throbbing  tumultuously,  and  despite 
her  efforts  at  self-control  the  tears  would  come. 

"Don't,"  he  begged.  "I  am  unworthy  of  one  tear 
from  those  beautiful  eyes.  Mabel,  let  me  have  your 
hand  in  mine  and  I'll  say  good-bye  and  go  away,  for 
I  only  grieve  you." 

She  put  her  hand  in  his  outstretched  one.  "Good- 
bye," she  said  softly,  "and  may  God  bless  and  keep 
vou,  and  bring  you  into  the  marvelous  light  and  peace 
of  His  love." 

He  bowed  his  head  upon  her  hand  which  he  held  as 
one  clings  at  the  last  to  a  dear  one  drifting  out  into 
the  world  beyond. 

"Good-bye,"  he  said  huskily.  "Oh,  white-souled 
child,  farewell !" 

She  drew  her  hand  away  and  turned  to  go,  but 
paused  to  ask : 

"Would  it  not  be  well  for  you  to  leave  here  ?" 

"I  am  compelled  to  stay  for  Lucile's  sake,"  he  an- 

"May  strength  be  yours,"  she  said. 

He  bowed,  and  she  went  away,  while  he  watched  till 
the  girlish  figure  passed  from  sight,  then  he  went 
slowly  in  the  direction  of  the  Springs.  His  own  sor- 
row made  him  very  tender  to  the  invalid.  He  felt  that 
]\Iabel  cared  for  him  more  than  she  admitted,  and  the 
thought  lightened  his  burden,  and,  while  he  made  no 
pretensions  to  Christianity,  the  knowledge  that  she 
prayed  for  him  comforted  him  much. 

He  did  not  tell  Mabel  that  he  had  been  to  her  home, 
but  when  she  reached  the  house  her  mother  said : 

"Mr.  Harvey  has  been  here,  daughter,  and  seemed 
disappointed  at  not  seeing  you.  He  left  a  package  for 
you.    I  put  it  in  your  room." 

She  went  to  see  what  it  could  be  and  found  several 
handsomely  bound  books  by  their  favorite  authors.  On 
the  flyleaf  of  one  he  had  penciled  lightly : 


"Long  ago,  when  life  was  younger  and  life's  burden 
cast  no  shadow, 
When  the  gladness  of  existence  had  a  summer 
fountain's  How; 
Side  by  side  we  trod  dim  woodland,  river  bank  or 
haunted  meadow — 
Long  ago. 

'^Long  ago  faint  odors  held  us  in  the  purple  fields  of 
clover — 
Subtler  in  its  sweet   suggestions    than    all    other 
blooms  ablow; 
Hand  in  hand  we  sat  together  zvhere  the  clover  heads 
hung  over — 
Long  ago. 

"Long  ago  the  hand  I  clasped  there  had  its  loving 
hand-clasp  broken; 
And  the  voices  ceased  from  singing,  and  the  cow- 
bells, faint  and  low, 
Died  away,  as  died  the  echoes  of  the  words  that  we 
had  spoken — 
Long  ago. 

"Long  ago  the  ends  divergent,  our  parted  footsteps 
No  scented  meadow  mine,  with  its  clover  blooms 
aglow — 
Has  youth's  sunset  come  to  you?     My  summer  day 
was  ended — 
Long  ago." 

"Poor  fellow!"  she  murmured,  the  tears  starting 
again,  "I  am  glad  I  met  him  and  that  he  went  away 
somewhat  comforted,  but  these  books  must  be  put  out 
of  sight,  even  as  all  thought  of  him  must  be  shut  out  of 
my  heart.  That  dream  is  over,  and  yet  it  was  so  sweet ' 
Ah,  my  Lord,  if  I  had  not  Thee  to  go  to  now,  where 
would  I  find  strength?" 



Some  time  after  Mabel  determined  to  go  away,  Mrs. 
Rowland  unexpectedly  put  in  an  appearance  at  Mr. 
Gordon's  house,  and  pleaded  eloquently  with  the 
mother  for  Mabel  to  be  allowed  to  live  with  her. 

"Do  you  want  to  go,  daughter?"  asked  Mrs.  Gor- 

"I  would  like  very  much  to  go  with  Mrs.  Row- 
land," said  Mabel,  "though  I  hate  to  leave  you,  and 
if  Nellie  wasn't  coming  so  soon  I  would  not.  Can't 
you  spare  me  a  while,  mother?" 

"We  must  talk  it  over  with  father  before  we  de- 
cide," answered  the  mother.  "Mrs.  Rowland,  take  off 
your  bonnet  and  spend  the  day  with  us." 

"I'll  do  so  with  pleasure,"  the  lady  said,  "for  I  am 
not  fond  of  hotels,  and  genuine  hospitality  delights 

"We  are  glad  to  have  you  with  us,"  said  Mrs.  Gor- 
don, in  her  gentle,  high-bred  manner,  "and  Mr.  Gor- 
don will  be  pleased  to  see  you.  Mabel,  you  stay  and 
entertain  your  friend.  I  am  obliged  to  be  out  for  a 

"Indeed,  lady-mother,  you'll  stay  here  yourself,"  re- 
sponded the  girl  brightly.  "I'll  attend  to  dinner,  and 
show  Mrs.  Rowland  what  an  excellent  cook  you've 
made  of  me." 

Mrs.  Rowland  smiled,  and  Mrs,  Gordon  said : 

"Necessity  made  one  of  you,  my  child." 

"Well,  it's  all  right,  anyway,"  replied  Mabel,  "and, 
ladies,  prepare  yourselves  to  enjoy  my  dinner." 


As  she  went  out  Mrs.  Gordon  said : 

"If  Mabel  leaves  us  it  will  make  a  dreadful  void  in 
this  home." 

"I  know  it,  dear  madam,  and  that  I  am  asking  a 
great  favor,  but  if  I  could  not  be  a  help  to  her,  much 
as  I  want  her,  I  would  not  try  to  get  her.  She  is  too 
pretty  and  sweet  to  bury  herself  here  all  her  life.  Let 
her  see  something  of  the  world,"  urged  the  guest. 

"Knowledge  of  the  world  does  not  always  improve 
one,"  replied  Mrs.  Gordon. 

"Believe  me,"  said  Mrs.  Rowland  earnestly,  "that  T 
will  guard  her  as  my  own  had  I  been  so  blest  as  to 
have  a  daughter.  Had  such  children  as  yours  been 
given  me  I  would  proudly  say,  'These  are  my  jewels !' 
You  are  a  fortunate  woman." 

"Thank  you,"  said  the  mother,  well  pleased.  "I 
realize  that  we  are  blest,"  and  she  looked  at  the  woman 
before  her,  arrayed  in  her  elegant  apparel,  having  all 
that  wealth  could  give,  and  she  pitied  her. 

When  Mr.  Gordon  came  he  greeted  their  visitor  with 
old  time  courtesy  and  elegance  of  manner. 

"Verily,"  said  Mrs.  Rowland  to  herself,  "these  peo- 
ple are  born  to  the  purple,  and  yet  they  are  living 
here  cheerfully  in  this  humble  home,  and  that  lovely 
girl  is  working  as  if  it  were  a  pleasure!" 

She  enjoyed  the  dinner  heartily,  while  her  delicate 
compliments  to  Mabel  quite  won  the  father,  and  after 
their  repast  was  over  further  pleased  him  by  begging 
him  not  to  forego  his  pipe  on  her  account.  Then  when 
he  had  settled  himself  in  his  armchair,  she  introduced 
the  subject  near  her  heart. 

Mr.  Gordon  listened  respectfully  while  she  talked, 
and  when  she  asked  him  for  an  answer  he  said  : 

"I  appreciate  your  offer,  and  have  no  doubt  in  some 
respects  it  will  be  a  nice  thing  for  Mabel,  but  how  can 
we  give  her  up?  She  a.Qd  Willie  are  all  we  have  left. 
Two  noble  boys  fill  soldiers'  graves,  and  we  cling  to 


these  children.  You  are  lonely,  you  say,  while  your 
home  is  filled  with  all  that  wealth  can  buy.  This  hum- 
ble home  depends  entirely  upon  its  human  ornaments 
for  beauty  and  comfort,  and  I  think  Mabel  is  best  off 
here.  She  is  young,  many  call  her  pretty,  and  she 
might  attract  someone  in  New  York  and  thus  be  taken 
entirely  away  from  us.  If  she  ever  marries  I  want 
her  to  choose  among  her  own  people.  If  you  lived 
near  us  she  might  spend  much  of  her  time  with  you; 
as  it  is,  I  don't  see  how  I  can  let  her  go." 

'T  understand  your  feelings,"  said  the  lady,  "and 
don't  blame  you.  Still  I  earnestly  wish  you  would  let 
me  have  her.  If  you  knew  how  I  long  for  a  daughter 
surely  you  would  let  her  go  with  me." 

"Think  what  a  comfort  she  is  to  us  and  how  we  will 
miss  her !  However,  she  shall  decide,  and  if  she  wants 
to  go  with  you  her  mother  and  I  will  try  to  give  her 
up  for  a  while ;  but  surely  a  child  so  loved  and  needed 
as  she  is  here  would  not  leave." 

"Believe  me,  sir,  that  I  have  no  thought  of  want  of 
dutiful  affection  on  Mabel's  part.  It  is  natural  for  the 
young  to  want  to  fly  off  a  while,  even  if  they  have  to 
return  to  the  home  nest  to  rest  their  tired  wings. 
Mabel  will  never  forget  her  dear  ones,  no  matter  how 
far  she  goes,  and  would  come  back  to  the  honored 
parents,  to  whom  she  owes  so  much  for  their  noble  ex- 
amples and  high  precepts." 

The  nice  compliment  had  the  desired  effect,  and  when 
Mabel  joined  them  Mr.  Gordon  said : 

"Well,  daughter,  your  friend  here  has  been  pleading 
her  cause  with  ability,  and  now  what  do  you  say?  Are 
you  willing  to  leave  us  ?" 

The  girl  took  his  hand  in  her  clasp  caressingly  as 
she  said : 

"I  never  want  to  leave  my  home,  father,  but  it  would 
give  me  great  pleasure  to  go  with  Mrs.  Rowland.  I 
will  come  back  to  you  the  same  little  girl  you  have 


taught  so  faithfully,  and  mother  shall  see  that  I  have 
lost  none  of  her  dear  lessons." 

The  mother  smiled  tenderly  at  the  eager  face  as  she 
said : 

"Then  I  suppose  we  will  have  to  let  you  go  for  a 
short  time  anyhow.  You  will  not  want  to  leave  before 
Willie's  marriage?  If  you  wait  till  then,  when  Nellie 
comes  we  can  spare  you  better." 

"I  can  wait  some  time,  dear  friend,"  rejoined  Mrs. 
Rowland,  "when  I  know  you  are  going  to  let  this 
child  go  home  with  me.  I  am  exceedingly  grateful  to 
you  for  giving  her  to  me,  even  for  a  short  while,  and 
rest  assured,  as  far  as  in  my  power  lies,  she  shall  not 
feel  the  need  of  her  parents,  though  I  know  it  would 
be  impossible  to  take  their  place  in  her  heart.  Give 
yourself  no  thought,  Mrs.  Gordon,  as  to  her  outfit. 
It  will  employ  the  waiting  time,  and  I  enjoy  fixing 
pretty  things  for  young  girls."  Then  turning  to 
Mabel  she  smiled  and  said,  "So  preen  your  wings,  my 
birdling,  and  be  ready  for  our  flight  when  the  day 

Then  she  leave  of  her  new  friends,  and  as  she 
rode  away,  Mr.  Gordon  said : 

"Well,  my  daughter,  I  like  your  Mrs.  Rowland 
right  well,  but,"  and  there  was  a  pause,  "I  can't  forget 
where  she  comes  from." 



There  were  times  when  Mabel  almost  gave  up  the 
idea  of  going  with  her  friend,  when  she  saw  how  her 
parents  clung  to  her  and  heard  Willie's  arguments 
against  her  plan.  But  she  needed  the  change  so  much, 
her  reason  told  her  it  was  best  to  go,  for  the  struggle 
through  which  she  had  passed  told  on  her  strength. 
Allan  had  kept  well  away  from  her,  but  there  were 
daily  reminders  of  him,  for  if  she  took  up  her  books 
she  was  made  to  think  of  how  he  roused  her  ambition 
and  stimulated  her  to  greater  effort.  To  please  him 
she  endured  fatigue  and  trials  in  her  determination  to 
excel  others,  though  after  all  he  had  to  go  out  of  her 
life  forever,  and  when  he  went  the  joy  of  success  died 

Oh,  it  was  hard  to  feel  that  one  whom  she  loved 
and  trusted,  and  to  whom  she  owed  much,  because  of 
the  timely  help  he  gave,  should  prove  other  than  the 
noble,  high-toned  man  she  believed  him  to  be.  And  to 
suggest  to  her  to  give  up  her  purity  of  life !  She  shud- 
dered at  the  thought.  Yes,  she  would  go  away  where 
pothing  could  recall  the  dream  of  her  girlhood,  and 
he  would  hold  onto  her  truth  and  never  forget  the 
holy  teachings  and  example  of  her  mother.  Never 
would  she  turn  from  the  way  so  plainly  shown  her, 
and  in  which  she  would  find  perfect  peace. 

Allan's  love  had  been  very  sweet,  but  there  was  a 
love  far  more  precious,  and  to  keep  that  she  could  give 
up  a  passion  tainted  with  sin. 

It  might  be  that  no  other  would  ever  come  into  her 
life,  and  before  her  might  stretch  a  long,  loveless  life. 


So  be  it,  she  could  bear  all  sustained  by  a  Power  so 
tender,  so  comforting  to  all  troubled  hearts,  and  it  was 
that  faith  which  gave  to  her  face  its  look  of  quiet  hap- 
piness, and  enabled  her  to  take  the  part  she  did  in  wel- 
coming Willie's  bride. 

"You  are  to  take  my  place,  Nellie,"  she  said.  "Be 
to  mother  a  daughter  indeed,  and  you  will  find  the  kind- 
est mother  a  girl  ever  had.  I  am  sorry  to  leave  you, 
dear,  for  a  sister  is  a  sweet  possession  to  me." 

"Tell  us,  sis,"  said  her  brother,  "when  I  am  to  have 
the  pleasure  of  welcoming  a  brother.  It  does  seem 
hard  for  you  to  find  one  suited  to  your  fastidious  taste, 
though  lots  of  beaux  are  sighing  for  a  kind  word  from 

"Did  I  ever  treat  anyone  unkindly?"  she  asked. 

"No,  but  you  stop  at  kindness,  and  they  want  more. 
Are  you  waiting  till  you  go  with  your  friend,  thinking 
to  find  a  nabob  ?  Can't  you  find  a  Southern  boy  capable 
of  coming  up  to  your  ideal  ?" 

Mr.  Gordon  heard  the  question,  and  he  turned  to 
Mabel,  saying: 

"My  child,  let  it  not  be  that  you  turn  from  your  own 
people,  and  choose  among  men  whom  you  can  owe 
nothing  of  love." 

"Dear  father,"  she  said,  "give  yourself  no  trouble 
on  my  account.  I  am  content  to  love  my  dear  ones 
here,  and  have  no  thought  of  lovers.  I  am  not  like 
other  girls,  you  know." 

And  she  was  unlike  them,  for  not  many  had  suffered 
as  she  had  done,  or  put  out  of  sight  a  sweeter  love  than 
she  had  buried.  She  was  safe  in  going  with  Mrs. 
Rowland,  for  it  w^ould  be  long  before  she  recovered 
from  the  blow  Allan  had  dealt,  and  to  trust  again 
seemed  impossible. 

So  she  made  ready  to  go,  for  Mrs.  Rowland  had 
come,  bringing  with  her  the  numerous  pretty  dresses 
and  articles  dear  to  all  feminine  hearts. 


The  evening  loefore  leaving  she  went  to  tell  Mammy 
good-bye,  and  to  take  a  last  walk.  The  same  peaceful 
air  rested  over  all;  the  mocking  birds  poured  forth 
their  sweetest  songs,  and  everything  reminded  her  of 
the  day  Allan  held  her  hands  in  his  and  kissed  her 
farewell.  He  was  true  and  pure  then,  she  thought, 
and  a  deep  sigh  stirred  her  as  she  leaned  for  a  moment 
on  the  fence,  near  where  she  had  seen  him  last. 

Mammy's  lament  over  her  broke  down  her  calmness 
and  the  tears  came  freely.  Laying  her  tremulous, 
black  hands  on  the  bright,  young  head  of  the  girl,  the 
old  nurse  prayed  that  her  "chile"  might  be  kept  from 
all  harm. 

"Be  wid  her,  Lawd,  an'  mek  her  lak  one  er  de 
blesed  sarafims  whut  shined  in  Mary  Magdelany, 
an'  keep  her  soul  in  peace  an'  mek  her  cum  up  wid  re- 
joicin'  eberlastin',  whar  I'se  gwine  be  truwout  etar- 

Viney  held  her  hands  close,  too  full  to  say  much,  for 
little  missy  was  very  dear  to  her,  and  Mabel  felt  the 
parting  from  these  faithful  friends  and  sympathizers. 
Since  her  earliest  recollections  they  were  really  a  part 
of  the  family  as  they  claimed  to  be. 

The  parting  at  home  was  full  of  grief  for  all.  and 
Mrs.  Rowland's  tears  mingled  with  theirs,  though  slie 
assured  them  the  dear  one  should  return  at  her  pleas- 

"Come  back,  my  own  pure  child,"  said  the  m.other, 
and  the  father's  parting  advice  was  not  to  forget  she 
was  a  Southern  girl  and  to  bear  herself  accordingly. 

Mrs.  Rowland  was  very  proud  of  Mabel's  attractive 
appearance.  Clad  in  her  neat  traveling  suit,  the  stylish 
hat  surmounting  her  gold-brown  curls,  the  fair  face, 
with  its  earnest,  soft  eyes  and  rose-hued  mouth,  she 
made  a  charming  young  lady. 

Noticing  the  admiring  looks  of  their  fellow  travel- 
ers, the  lady  said  to  herself: 



*I  am  afraid  I'll  not  keep  her  long,  and  the  thought 
pains  me.  I  wonder  how  Rudolf  will  like  her?  But, 
dear  me,  I  need  not  give  him  a  thought,  for  he  will 
hardly  know  she  is  in  the  house.  I  don't  believe  Mabel 
will  throw  herself  in  his  way,  as  some  do,  so  she  won't 
disgust  him.  And  she  is  lovely  enough  to  charm  any 
man  less  given  over  to  hatred.  Poor  Louis!  you  in 
your  prison  home  are  hardly  to  be  pitied  more  than 
Rudolf  in  his  bitterness  of  feeling.  My  poor  boys! 
my  heart  mourns  over  both." 



Mabel  had  been  in  her  new  home  several  days  be- 
fore Colonel  Chester  returned  from  a  trip,  and  the  first 
she  knew  of  his  presence  in  the  house  was  during  her 
stay  in  a  small  room  adjoining  Mrs.  Rowland's  own 
sitting  room,  whither  she  had  gone  for  a  few  moments 
to  discharge  a  light  duty  she  had  assumed,  and  while 
there  the  brother  and  sister  entered  the  sitting  room. 
Not  wishing  to  meet  him  Mabel  remained  quiet,  hop- 
ing he  would  soon  go.  After  a  few  remarks  about  his 
journey,  she  heard  Colonel  Chester  say : 

"I  hear  from  John  that  you  brought  a  young  girl 
home  with  you.  Where  did  you  find  her,  and  how 
came  you  to  bring  her  at  all  ?" 

"I  met  her  while  in  the  South,  during  my  stay  at  the 
Springs,  to  which  I  carried  my  husband  in  his  vain 
search  for  health,"  replied  Mrs.  Rowland.  "I  was  out 
riding  one  day  and  came  upon  a  girl  walking  and 
talking  with  a  nice  looking  negress.  I  was  very 
much  taken  with  the  girl's  bright  face  and  general  ap- 
pearance, and  learned  she  was  of  gentle  birth,  that  her 
people  were  reduced  by  the  war,  and  the  girl  was 
making  a  brave  effort  to  finish  her  education.  Her 
companion  she  introduced  as  Malviney,  her  old  nurse's 
daughter,  and  her  escort  to  the  village,  whither  the 
girl  went  to  take  music  lessons.  Naturally  I  became 
interested,  and  frequently  met  them.  The  more  I  saw 
of  Mabel  the  fonder  I  grew  of  her,  and  offered  to  give 
her  good  advantages  if  she  would  come  to  me,  but  she 
could  not  leave  home  so  young,  so  I  waited  till  she  was 
grown,  then  tried  again  to  get  her  and  succeeded.    I 


need  her  very  much,  for  you  have  no  idea  how  lonely 
I  am,  and,  Rudolf,  I  don't  want  you  to  hurt  her  feel- 
ings because  you  hate  all  womankind." 

"Yourself  always  excepted,"  returned  her  brother. 
"I  am  a  gentleman,  if  I  do  distrust  women,  and  so 
shall  not  wound  your  young  protegee;  besides,  I'll 
liardly  see  her,  for  I  am  busy  all  the  time.  You  say  she 
lived  near  those  Springs.  I  passed  through  ^here  during 
the  late  unplesasantness,  and  'twas  theii  I  did  some- 
thing I  shall  always  regret." 

"You,  Rudolf!"  exclaimed  his  sister.  "Why,  I 
never  heard  you  speak  of  it." 

"No,  for  it  is  not  a  pleasant  memory.  My  men  had 
been  terribly  tried  and  insulted,  and  they  were  ready 
for  any  act.  I  was  much  younger  then  than  now,  and 
but  recently  promoted.  The  men  did  something  which 
enraged  the  owner  of  the  place  we  were  trespassing 
upon,  and  he  said  he  didn't  suppose  we  would  even 
leave  a  shelter  over  his  head;  that  he  looked  for  any 
act  of  violence  from  such  vandals.  And  I  said,  'Well, 
men,  don't  disappoint  him ;  stick  the  torch  to  his  house,' 
and  it  was  done.  Afterwards  I  regretted  it  much, 
but  it  was  too  late,  and  I  will  never  forget  the  look  on 
the  wife's  face  as  I  passed  her,  sitting  on  the  ground 
holding  her  two  children  to  her  breast  to  hide  the  sight 
of  their  burning  home.  I  would  do  much  to  undo  it 
if  possible,  for  the  utter  despair  on  that  mother's  face 
haunts  me  even  now.  Bah !  I  don't  like  to  think  of  it. 
War  is  a  cruel  thing,  and  when  I  laid  by  my  sword  it 
ended  with  me." 

A  few  more  remarks  followed,  and  then  he  went  out, 
and  Mabel  sat  like  one  stunned.  She  was  in  the  house 
with  the  man  by  whose  order  her  home  was  destroyed 
— the  pretty  home  her  parents  loved  so  dearly,  and  the 
grandeur  of  which  her  Mammy  dv»^elt  upon  in  talk- 
ing to  the  "chillun."  Could  she  stay  there?  Mammy 
feared  Allan  might  be  kin  to  the  one  that  ordered  the 


torch  applied,  and  what  would  she  say  if  she  knew  her 
"chile"  was  living  in  the  same  house  with  the  man 
himself?  She  sat  perfectly  still  till  Mrs.  Rowland 
left  the  room,  then  she  escaped,  and  she  determined  to 
tell  her  friend  that  it  would  be  impossible  for  her  to 
stay  there,  though  she  could  not  give  her  reason,  for 
she  disliked  to  say  she  had  overheard  their  conversa- 
tion, although  'twas  accidental. 

She  would  try  to  keep  aloof  from  him,  for  he  hated 
all  women,  and  then  he  had  given  her  a  powerful  rea- 
son to  dislike  him.  In  fancy  she  could  look  across  the 
fields  and  see  those  lonely  chimneys,  always  like  sen- 
tinels guarding  a  sacred  spot.  Oh!  those  horrible 
memories !  When  would  the  healer,  Time,  remove  the 
wounds — festering  heart-wounds — caused  by  men  who 
should  have  been  brothers?  She  tried  to  drive  the 
thoughts  away,  and  to  appear  as  usual  to  her  friend, 
to  whom  she  said,  some  days  after  overhearing  Colonel 
Chester's  remarks : 

"Mrs.  Rowland,  do  you  live  with  your  brother,  or 
he  with  you?" 

"I  live  with  him,"  the  lady  replied.  "I  have  a  home 
of  my  own,  but  it  is  not  in  a  part  of  the  city  he  likes, 
and  as  I  have  no  family,  and  he  is  attached  to  this 
house,  I  rented  mine  and  came  to  him.  But  it  need 
make  no  difference  to  you,  child,  for  he  is  willing  for 
me  to  have  anyone  here  I  want.  He  is  at  home  so 
little  he  doesn't  know  much  of  its  workings,  and  you 
need  not  see  him  often,  if  you  prefer  not  doing  so." 

"Which  I  do."  said  the  girl,  "for  you  say  he  dislikes 
all  women,  and  I  much  prefer  avoiding  him  all  the 

Mrs.  Rowland  smiled. 

"The  same  outspoken  little  girl  I  first  met.  Well, 
dear,  you  shall  do  as  you  please." 

So  the  days  passed  on,  and  Colonel  Chester  almost 
forgot  the  girl's  existence,  but  one  morning  Mrs.  Row- 


land  was  too  feeble  to  attend  the  breakfast  table,  and 
she  said  to  Mabel : 

"You  will  have  to  preside  for  me  this  morning  at 
breakfast.  Rudolf  doesn't  enjoy  his  meals  if  a  servant 
is  all  he  sees  at  table.  Woman  hater  that  he  is,  he 
thinks  them  very  necessary  at  meal  time.  You  will 
find  him  very  polite,  and  you  may  even  enjoy  his  so- 
ciety, for  he  can  be  charming.  Go,  dear,  and  fill  my 

Mabel  bowed,  and  went  quietly  down  to  the  hand- 
some breakfast  room,  and  when  Colonel  Chester  en- 
tered, instead  of  seeing  his  sister's  matronly  form  in 
its  accustomed  place,  a  slender,  girlish  creature  awaited 
him.  He  glanced  in  surprise,  then  bowed  with  ex- 
quisite grace. 

"Miss  Gordon,  I  presume.  I  am  Rudolf  Chester. 
Is  my  sister  sick  that  she  is  not  present  this  morn- 

"Yes,  sir,  and  she  sent  me  to  wait  on  you  in  her 
stead,"  replied  Mabel,  very  calmly,  though  her  pulses 
bounded  and  she  felt  almost  suffocated  by  her  emo- 

"You  are  very  kind,"  he  said.  "I  trust  Augusta  is 
not  seriously  ill." 

Mabel  assured  him  that  she  was  not,  then  proceeded 
to  pour  his  coffee,  and  to  act  as  if  it  were  perfectly 
natural  for  her  to  occupy  the  place  she  then  filled. 

He  noticed  her  quiet  grace  of  manner,  and  mentally 
concluded  that  his  sister  was  not  too  loud  in  praise  of 
her  young  friend.  As  Mabel  said  nothing,  and  he  was 
host,  he  felt  that  he  must  make  it  pleasant  for  her, 
much  as  he  disliked  her  kind. 

"How  do  you  like  our  city?"  he  asked. 

"I  have  not  been  here  long  enough  to  be  able  to  say," 
she  answered. 

"You  must  go  out  more,"  he  said,  "for  it  is  dull 
here  to  a  young  lady,  but  if  you  like  to  read  there  is 


a  fine  library  In  the  house,  to  which  you  can  have  access 
at  any  time,  and  if  you  belong  to  the  army  of  piano 
players  there  is  a  grand  one  you  can  use,  but  please 
spare  me  all  you  can  in  practicing." 

"Thank  you,"  she  said,  "I  am  very  fond  of  reading, 
and  also  of  music,  but  you  need  give  yourself  no  un- 
easiness about  my  practicing.  I  shall  not  annoy  you  in 
the  least." 

He  bowed,  and  ate  on  in  silence.  As  he  rose  to  leave 
the  table  he  said: 

"Please  tell  Augusta  I  am  very  sorry  she  is  ill; 
if  I  had  time  would  go  to  see  her.  Will  she  be  down 
at  dinner?" 

"Yes,  sir." 

"And  you?"  he  asked. 

"I  will  be  at  home,"  she  said  simply. 

"Can't  you  be  with  us?"  again  he  asked. 

"If  Mrs.  Rowland  wishes  me,"  she  replied. 

Again  he  bowed,  and  feeling  he  had  wasted  too 
much  time  upon  a  girl,  left  for  his  office,  and  gave  no 
further  thought  to  her  till  upon  his  return  he  saw  only 
his  sister. 

"Where  is  Miss  Gordon?"  he  asked. 

"She  preferred  not  coming  down,  and  of  course  I 
excused  her,"  replied  the  lady. 

"Does  she  think  me  an  ogre  ?" 

"No,  but  she  knows  you  dislike  all  women,  and  it 
is  pleasanter  to  keep  away  from  you,"  Mrs.  Rowland 

"I  have  small  cause  to  like  them,"  he  said,  "but  she 
need  not  fear  me,  I  shall  not  be  rude  to  her." 

"She  said  you  were  quite  kind.  I  must  take  her 
about  more,  for  I  am  afraid  she  will  grow  homesick, 
and  if  the  child  were  to  leave  it  would  cause  me  much 
sorrow.     I  am  very  fond  of  her,  Rudolf." 

"So  I  perceive,"  he  said. 


"And  so  would  you  if  you  would  see  more  of  her," 
retorted  his  sister. 

He  smiled  at  her  feeling  of  warmth. 

"My  dear  Augusta,  how  am  I  to  see  anything  of  her 
when  she  avoids  me,  and  I  care  so  little  that  I  do  not 
know  she  is  here,  unless  by  accident  I  see  her?  She 
is  very  pretty,  and  I  doubt  not  that  fair  face  would 
lure  a  man  to  madness  if  he  should  be  so  foolish  as  to 
allow  himself  to  care  for  her,  and  she  would  care  no 
more  for  the  sorrow  she  might  cause  than  Eleanor 
cares  for  the  woe  she  wrought  poor  Louis.  Your 
pretty  protegee  is  all  you  want,  and  I  am  glad  for  your 
sake.     She  is  nothing  to  me." 

Mrs.  Rowland  made  no  reply  and  the  conversation 
drifted  to  other  topics. 

Of  course  Mrs.  Rowland  said  nothing  to  Mabel  of 
Colonel  Chester's  feelings,  but  the  girl  steadily  avoided 
him,  and  he  took  so  little  notice  of  it  that  he  never 
mentioned  her  name. 

One  day,  having  occasion  to  go  to  the  kitchen,  she 
found  Sarah,  the  faithful  cook,  groaning  with  pain. 

"Why,  Sarah,  are  you  ill?"    she  asked. 

"Indeed,  miss,  I'm  near  dead  with  me  head,  and  the 
masther  left  worrud  to  have  a  foine  dinner,  for  he  was 
to  bring  frinds  home  with  him,  an'  me  that  sick  I  could 

"Never  mind,"  comforted  Mabel.  "Let  Katie  pre- 
pare dinner." 

Sarah's  face  did  not  brighten. 

"Oh,  miss,  she  knows  no  more  of  cooking  than  :; 

"Let  me  do  it,  then,"  suggested  the  girl. 

"You,  Miss  Gordon,"  exclaimed  Sarah. 

"Yes,  I,"  smiled  Mabel.  "I  was  a  famous  cook  at 
home,  and  it  would  really  give  me  pleasure  to  do  this. 
You  can  sit  in  here  and  direct  me  if  I  go  wrong." 


"But  Mrs.  Rowland  will  not  like  for  you  to  do  this," 
objected  Sarah. 

"She  will  not  know  it.  She  isn't  able  to  come  down 
now,  and  Katie  can  wait  on  her.  I'll  run  and  tell  her 
j»ot  to  expect  me  in  several  hours,  and  get  a  long  apron 
to  protect  my  dress,  then  we  will  soon  get  this  bugbear 
out  of  the  way.  I'll  give  the  master  a  taste  of  South- 
ern cookery,  and  if  it  is  not  as  good  as  yours  he  can 
put  up  with  it  once." 

Away  she  flitted,  and  was  soon  back  again,  with  cuffs 
laid  aside,  and  white  wrists  bared  for  work. 

"Now  I  am  ready,  and  I  shall  enjoy  this,"  she 

"I'll  bless  you  till  me  dyin'  day,"  said  Sarah,  "fur 
ef  ye  hadn't  helped,  the  saints  only  know  what  I  should 
'a  done." 

"And  I  am  very  glad  to  be  able  to  help  you,"  said 
Mabel.  "I  know  who  humors  my  taste,  and  now  this 
is  my  opportunity  for  showing  gratitude." 

She  moved  about  the  kitchen  as  gracefully  as  she 
did  in  the  parlor — always  the  lady.  Sarah  watched 
her  admiringly,  and  when  the  dinner  was  all  done 
became  loud  in  praise  of  her  skill. 

"Now,  Sarah,"  she  said,  "I  shall  leave  everything 
in  your  care  while  I  run  and  see  Mrs.  Rowland,  and 
help  her  to  be  ready  when  Colonel  Chester  comes  with 
his  friends." 

As  she  entered  that  lady's  room  Mrs.  Rowland  ex- 
claimed : 

"Mabel,  what  have  you  been  doing!  Your  cheeks 
are  flaming,  and  you  are  tired." 

"I  ran  upstairs,  dear  lady,  and  am  slightly  tired. 
Are  you  ready  to  come  down  to  preside  for  Colonel 
Chester?     Dinner  will  soon  be  served." 

"Yes,  I  will  go,  and  you  must  accompany  me.  I 
shall  not  let  you  hide  yourself  always.  You 
are  my  daughter  for  the  time  being  and  one  of  whom 


I  am  justly  proud.    So  dress  yourself  carefully  and  be 
very  sweet." 

"I  always  want  to  please  you,"  said  Mabel,  "but  I 
really  would  be  glad  to  be  excused  to-day." 

"Impossible,  dear,"  replied  her  friend,  smiling.  "I 
want  you  to  come,  and  your  good  parents  trained  you 
to  habits  of  obedience,  you  know.  So  you  will  do  as 
I  say.  You  were  accustomed  to  company  at  home,  so 
you  need  not  care  now." 

"Oh,  it  is  not  that.  Company  makes  no  difference 
to  me,  for  if  our  home  was  humble  guests  were  fre- 
quently entertained  there." 

"It  is  Rudolf,  then!  Well,  you  need  not  care  for 
him.  I  need  you,  and  you  will  come.  I  am  going 
down  now  to  meet  them." 

So  Mabel  donned  a  pretty  dress,  and  her  heightened 
color  added  to  her  beauty.  She  slipped  back  to  the  din- 
ing room  to  see  that  everything  was  in  perfect  order, 
John  was  at  his  post,  delighted  with  the  appearance 
of  dinner. 

"John,"  she  said,  a  little  anxiously,  "do  you  think  he 
will  be  pleased  to-day?  I  tried  so  hard  to  have  every- 
thing nice." 

"Indeed,  Miss  Gordon,  I  know  he  is  bound  to  like 
everything,  and  I'll  do  all  I  can  to  suit  him,"  an- 
swered John,  glad  to  comfort  her. 

Nevertheless,  Mabel  was  somewhat  nervous  when 
the  meal  began.  Colonel  Chester  introduced  his  friends 
to  her  when  they  entered  the  elegant  dining  room, 
and  he  saw  the  same  girlish  figure  there  he  had  met 
once  before.  If  he  was  at  all  gratified  in  seeing  her 
again,  his  face  showed  none  of  it,  but  his  friends  looked 
the  admiration  they  felt. 

Once  during  the  course  of  the  meal  he  asked  Mrs. 
Rowland : 

"Have  you  a  new  cook?" 

"No,"  returned  his  sister,  "but  there  is  a  difference 


in  the  viands  to-day.     I  suppose  Sarah  has  tried  a 
new  way." 

"Tell  her  to  keep  on,  please,"  he  said.  "I  am  either 
very  hungry,  or  the  victuals  exceedingly  nice.  Miss 
Gordon,  your  appetite  is  not  so  good.  Can't  I  help  you 
to  some  of  this  fowl?" 

Mabel  stole  a  look  at  John.  That  functionary  was 
standing,  tray  in  hand,  and  with  a  face  as  inscrutable 
as  his  master's. 

The  conversation  turned  on  other  subjects,  and 
Mabel  could  listen  and  watch  the  faces  of  all.  Colonel 
Chester  was  by  far  the  most  distinguished  looking 
of  the  gentlemen  present,  and  she  noticed  the  deference 
with  which  his  opinions  were  received.  His  face  de- 
noted a  fine  character,  the  expression  of  his  eyes  was 
kind,  and  his  smile  perfect;  a  man  a  child  would 
trust  and  women  rely  upon. 

Looking  at  him  and  listening  to  his  pleasant  tones 
Mabel  found  it  hard  to  believe  him  capable  of  cruel 
conduct  toward  a  defenceless  old  man  and  helpless 
children.  He  raised  his  eyes  and  caught  her  look,  and 
his  smile  deepened  her  color. 

As  Mrs.  Rowland  and  she  left  the  table  she  said : 

"H  you  do  not  need  me  I  would  like  to  write  some 
letters  this  evening.  Mother  will  be  disappointed  un- 
less her  regular  one  goes." 

"By  all  means  write.  I  will  excuse  you,"  Mrs. 
Rowland  replied,  and  the  guests  looked  disappointed 
when  they  failed  to  find  the  girl  in  the  drawinig 

"Where  is  Miss  Gordon?"    asked  Colonel  Chester. 

"She  had  letters  to  write  and  begged  me  to  excuse 
her,"  answered  his  sister. 

"I  tell  Colonel  Chester,"  said  one  of  his  friends, 
"that  it  will  be  strange  if  he  continues  to  hate  the  fair 
sex,  with  such  a  piece  of  feminine  loveliness  so  near. 
How  can  you  resist  such  charms?" 


Colonel  Chester  smiled  slightly  as  he  replied : 
"Feminine  beauty  has  no  charms  for  me.    I  am  thor- 
oughly in  love  with  my  profession,  to  the  exclusion  of 
all  other  loves." 

"And  so  you  do  not  admire  this  dainty  Southerner?'* 
"Well,  really,  I  know  so  little  of  her  I  can't  say 
I  do,"  gravely  returned  the  host. 

"Ah,  Chester,  if  you  ever  should  be  struck  by  the 
blind  god  it  will  be  a  terrible  case,"  his  friend  re- 

"I  do  not  apprehend  anything  of  the  kind.  I  am 
thirty- four  and  never  yet  have  been  attacked." 

"You  are  not  safe  yet.    Your  fate  may  be  at  hand." 
"Then  'tis  to  be  hoped  I  will  be  kindly  treated," 
Colonel  Chester  said  lightly,  and  ended  the  talk. 



One  day,  some  time  after  his  friends'  visit,  as  Colo- 
nel Chester  was  making  ready  to  go  to  his  office  his 
sister  said : 

"Can't  you  stay  with  me?  I  see  so  little  of  you 
these  days." 

"I  am  very  busy."  he  replied.  "Our  clerk  has  more 
than  he  can  do  and  I  have  to  copy  several  papers." 

"Mabel  writes  well,  and  if  you  have  any  work  with 
you  will  help  you.  I'll  send  for  her,"  said  Mrs.  Row- 

"I  dislike  to  trouble  her,"  he  said,  "but  you  can 

In  answer  to  the  summons  Mabel  came  quietly  into 
the  library. 

"You  sent  for  me?"  she  asked  her  friend,  who  an- 
swered : 

"Yes,  dear.  Will  you  help  Rudolf  with  some  wTit- 

"Certainly,"  she  said,  "where  is  the  work?" 

"I  dislike  to  bother  you,"  said  Colonel  Chester,  "but 
will  be  glad  of  assistance.  I'll  have  the  papers  arranged 
in  a  few  moments." 

"Writing  never  worries  me,"  she  said,  "and  if  by 
helping  you  I  can  gain  some  of  your  society  for  Mrs. 
Rowland  I  shall  be  glad." 

"You  do  not  care  for  it  yourself,  I  presume?"  he 
said,  his  eyes  twinkling  merrily. 

She  looked  up  quickly. 

"I  do  not,  sir,"  she  replied  coldly. 

The  amused  look  deepened  on  his  face. 



"Little  rebel,"  he  said  to  himself:  "she  certainly 
has  no  more  liking  for  me  than  I  have  for  her." 

He  gravely  arranged  the  work  for  her,  and  taking 
'ip  a  paper  settled  himself  near  the  light.  As  Mrs. 
:\.owland  was  reading,  there  was  silence  for  quite  a 
time,  then  he  arose  and  going  to  the  faithful  copyist 
said : 

"I  don't  want  to  tire  you  to-night.  Rest  now  while 
I  look  over  this  paper." 

Mabel  bowed,  and  rising,  drew  a  chair  near  to  Mrs. 
Rowland,  who  laid  down  her  book  to  talk  with  her. 
Chatting  on  quietly  together  they  took  no  notice  of 
the  gentleman,  till  a  contemptuous  expression  from 
him  caused  his  sister  to  look  at  him  in  surprise.  He 
laid  down  his  paper,  his  face  full  of  scorn. 

"What  ails  you,  Rudolf?"  asked  Mrs.  Rowland. 

"I  see  in  this  paper  that  Eleanor  Heath  is  to  be  man- 
ager of  the  new  charitable  guild  just  started,  and  it 
disgusted  me.  She  coaxed  a  round  sum  from  my 
partner  for  it,  but  she  didn't  come  to  me,  and  it  is 
well  she  did  not.     I  cannot  endure  that  woman." 

"Oh,  brother,  you  are  too  hard  on  her,"  said  his 

"Too  hard !  When  she  ruined  Louis  by  her  per- 
fidy? That  woman  caused  me  to  lose  faith  in  all 
womankind,  and  had  she  come  to  me  with  her  sweet 
ways  I  should  have  told  her  of  her  hypocrisy.  A 
Christian  indeed !  If  there  was  such  a  thing  as  re- 
ligion she  would  make  me  hate  it." 

Mabel  listened  quietly  till  he  finished,  then  she 

"Do  you  doubt  there  being  such  a  thing  as  Chris- 

"Yes,"  he  said,  "and  so  would  you  if  you  knew 
the  sorrow  that  woman  has  caused  and  could  see 
others  as  I  do.  I  know  men  who  make  long  prayers. 
and  almost  seem  sanctified,  yet  they  oppress  widows 


and  orphans,  steal  and  falsify,  though  they  claim  to 
be  Christians.  And  there  are  women,  looking  like 
saints,  who  can  coolly  crush  men's  hearts;  can  turn 
from  the  truest  love  and  sell  themselves  to  richer 
suitors.     If  they  were  Christians  could  they  do  so?" 

"Hush,  Rudolf,"  said  his  sister.  "You  shall  not 
try  to  shake  Mabel's  faith." 

"He  cannot,"  said  the  girl  quietly;  "I  know  re- 
ligion is  real.  I  have  seen  the  faith  he  despises  sup- 
port my  parents  in  bitter  trials,  and  it  has  been  my 
only  comfort  in  severe  trouble.  It  is  out  of  his  power 
to  shake  my  faith,  for  it  is  a  part  of  my  being,  and  life 
without  the  belief  my  parents  have  taught  me  from  my 
earliest  recollections  would  be  dark  indeed." 

"And  do  you  accept  those  teachings  blindly?" 

"Not  blindly,  for  I  have  the  witness  within  my  soul 
that  all  I  believe  is  true,  and.  Colonel  Chester,  were 
it  in  your  power  to  take  from  me  youth,  health  and 
friends,  or  my  faith,  I  would  rather  you  would  take 
all  else  and  leave  to  me  my  belief." 

"Now,  Rudolf,  you  must  let  her  alone,"  interposed 
Mrs.  Rowland. 

"I  wall,"  he  said,  "for  if  she  wants  to  believe  as 
she  does  all  logic  will  be  in  vain.  I  never  try  to  con- 
vince a  woman  against  her  will." 

"Are  we  so  unreasonable  as  that?"   asked  Mabel. 

"Yes;   I  never  look  for  reason  in  your  sex." 

"You  are  complimentary,"  she  said. 

"I  am  truthful,  he  returned. 

"That  is  always  best,"  she  replied  gravely. 

"Are  you  the  same?"  he  asked. 

She  drew  herself  up  as  she  said : 

"I  have  never  known  anything  else  but  the  truth." 

"Then  if  some  honest  man  some  day  offers  you  his 
love,  and  wins  from  you  a  promise  to  be  his  wife,  you 
would  not  throw  him  away  for  a  wealthier  lover? 
Could  he  depend  on  you  ?"  he  asked. 


"He  could,"  she  said;  "but  I  hardly  think  that  will 
take  place." 

"Young  as  you  are  do  you  really  belive  that?  I 
thought  all  girls  looked  forward  to  matrimony." 

"I  am  not  like  them  in  that,"  she  said. 

"And  there  is  no  laddie  at  the  South  waiting  for  his 

"None  there,"  she  answered. 

"You  have  had  her  on  the  witness  stand  long 
enough,"  said  Mrs.  Rowland.  "You  must  quit  bring- 
ing your  lawyer-like  ways  into  our  home  circle,  Ru- 

"I  will  hush,"  he  said,  and  looking  at  his  watch,  "I 
must  leave  you  now.  I  have  an  engagement  to  meet. 
I  am  under  obligations  to  you,  Miss  Gordon,  for  the 
assistance  you  have  rendered  me." 

Mabel  bowed,  and  Mrs.  Rowland  said : 

"You  are  under  more  to  her  for  cooking  that  nice 
dinner  for  your  friends  and  yourself." 

"Mrs.  Rowland,  pray  hush!"    exclaimed  Mabel. 

"Ah!"  he  said,  turning  quickly;  "I  congratulate 
you,  Miss  Gordon,  upon  your  skill,  and  thank  you  for 
the  treat  you  gave  us;   but  how  came  you  to  do  it?" 

"Sarah  was  quite  sick  and  I  merely  took  her  place," 
explained  Mabel. 

"A  regular  good  Samaritan,"  put  in  Mrs.  Rowland. 

"'Twas  very  kind,"  he  said.  "I  did  not  think  you 
could  succeed  in  that  line." 

"I  was  trained  at  home,"  she  said  simply,  "and  there 
was  need  for  me  to  learn  housework." 

"And  every  girl  should  be  so  trained,"  he  said,  as 
he  turned  to  go. 

Mrs.  Rowland  laughed  as  she  said : 

"Rudolf,  with  all  his  brilliancy  and  learning  is  like 
other  men,  and  the  way  to  his  heart  is  via  his  stomach." 

"I  don't  believe  there  is  a  way  to  his  heart,"  said 


Mabel,  "and  it  would  be  a  brave  woman  who  would  at- 
tempt it." 

Colonel  Chester  heard  the  remark,  as  he  paused  at 
the  door,  and  looking  back  he  said : 

"I  shouldn't  think  the  reward  sufficient  for  the 

Mrs.  Rowland  replied : 

"Brother,  you  do  yourself  injustice.  I  could  wish 
no  woman  a  greater  blessing  than  your  love.  Your 
heart  is  a  noble  one  if  you  do  persist  in  closing  it 
against  the  ladies." 

"Whenever  I  find  one  so  pure  and  true  that  she 
can  restore  my  faith  in  womankind,  then  I'll  lay  my 
all  at  her  feet,  and. till  then,  sister  mine,  this  'noble 
heart,'  as  you  are  pleased  to  term  it,  will  stay  in  my 
keeping,"  said  he. 

He  left  them  and  the  ladies  after  a  little  more 
talk  prepared  to  retire. 

Colonel  Chester's  questions  called  up  thoughts  of 
the  laddie  Mabel  knew  long  ago,  and  the  dull  pain 
that  settled  about  her  heart  revealed  that  the  struggle 
through  which  she  had  passed  was  not  all  the  battle 
to  be  fought  ere  she  could  declare  herself  entirely 
free  from  the  love  Allan  had  inspired.  She  won- 
dered where  he  was  then,  and  if  he  were  happy.  No 
tidings  of  him  had  ever  reached  her,  and  though  he 
had  shocked  and  wounded  her  so  terribly,  it  was  hard 
to  forget  a  friend  so  endeared  by  many  kindnesses, 
and  it  was  to  him  she  owed  the  awakening  of  her 
ambition  to  fit  herself  for  any  position.  She  won- 
dered, too,  if  Colonel  Chester  would  ask  a  woman 
he  professed  to  love  to  be  false  to  every  principle  of 
honor.  Yes,  she  believed  if  he  could  love  as  Allan 
said  he  did,  he  would-  act  so,  too,  for  he  was  a  man 
of  the  world  and  familiar  with  life  in  all  its  phases. 
He  was  worse  than  her  old  friend,  for  he  scoffed  at 
religion,  and  Allan  never  did  that.     Colonel  Chester 


reqtiirec!  purity  and  sincerity  in  woman,  and  he  might 
not  know  anything  of  either.  So  with  her  mind  full 
of  both  men  she  fell  asleep,  to  dream  of  her  girlhood, 
of  her  quiet  childhood,  when  she  walked  with  Allan 
through  the  shady  lanes  and  fragrant  woods,  when 
he  unwittingly  stole  her  heart  away  and  lost  his  own. 



Time  passed  uneventfully  on  to  them  all,  and  Colo- 
nel Chester  saw  little  of  Mabel.  She  had  another 
cause  to  dislike  him,  for  he  was  an  avowed  infidel, 
and  it  filled  her  with  horror  to  hear  anyone  deny  the 
existence  of  the  Being  she  worshiped.  It  was  worse 
than  turning  them  out  homeless  to  try  to  shake  her 
faith  in  her  parents'  God.  Her  evident  avoidance  of 
him  amused  him  very  much,  and  he  began  to  seek  op- 
portunities of  talking  to  her. 

One  bright  Sabbath  morning  he  met  her  in  the  hall, 
dressed  in  outdoor  costume. 

"Ah!  Miss  Gordon,"  he  said,  "may  I  ask  where  you 
have  been?" 

"To  church,  sir,"  she  replied. 

"To  church?  How  good  you  are  to  give  up  a  de- 
lightful nap  just  to  listen  to  a  drowsy  sermon,  preached 
upon  speculations  some  superstitious  creature  has  got- 
ten up.  Now  I  spent  the  morning  indulging  in  a  re- 
freshing sleep,  which  I  needed,  having  come  in  late 
last  night,  and  this  morning  no  place  suited  me  so  well 
as  the  arms  of  Morpheus,  so  I  went  breakfastless  and 
am  now  hungry.  Augusta  said  you  would  give  me 
my  luncheon,  as  all  the  servants  are  so  pious  they  must 
needs  go  to  church,  too,  and  have  not  returned.  Will 
you  see  to  my  wants?" 

"Certainly,"  she  said,  and  turned  toward  the  din- 
ing room,  he  following  closely.  "The  table  is  all  ar- 
ranged, and  I  will  take  Mrs.  Rowland's  lunch  to  her." 

"Augusta  ate  late  and  is  in  no  need  of  food  now," 
he  said.    "I  want  you  here,  so  take  off  your  hat  and 

MABEL    GORDON  *[\. 

eat  with  me.  You  know,  of  course,  I  don't  like  ladies, 
but  they  add  a  great  deal  to  a  table." 

She  hesitated,  and  he  continued: 

"I  insist  upon  your  joining  me  in  this.  Do  you 
really  hate  to  eat  with  me?" 

"Yes,  sir,"  she  said,  "since  you  force  me  to  tell  the 

"Ah !"  he  said  coolly,  "and  what  is  your  reason,  or 
have  you  any?" 

With  a  flushing  face  she  yet  raised  her  eyes  bravely 
to  his  as  she  replied : 

"It  is,  sir,  because  you  can  partake  willingly  of  all 
the  good  things  a  generous  God  bestows  on  you  and 
never  give  Him  thanks — indeed  even  go  as  far  as  to 
deny  His  existence." 

He  saw  she  felt  all  she  said,  so  he  answered  quietly. 

"Well,  we  won't  quarrel  to-day  over  our  beliefs. 
Let  us  enjoy  the  good  things  before  us  and  be  friendly. 
Sit  down  and  let  me  help  you  to  this  roast.  It  is  very 
nicely  prepared;  almost  equals  that  you  gave  us  once." 

With  exquisite  courtesy  he  did  the  honors  of  the 
table,  eating  slowly,  and  talking  as  he  ate. 

"The  day  is  very  pretty,  Miss  Gordon,"  he  said, 
"and  a  drive  this  afternoon  would  be  pleasant.  Will 
you  go  with  me  driving?" 

"No,  sir,"  she  said  calmly. 

"You  won't!    Why  not?" 

"I  do  not  approve  of  it,"  she  said. 

"You  don't?" 

"No,  sir." 

"And  you  won't  go  with  me?" 

"No,  sir." 

"Well,  upon  my  word,"  said  he,  "you  are  polite." 

"What  else  can  I  say?"  she  asked.  "You  had  to 
be  answered." 

"And  you  run  the  risk  of  never  being  asked  again 
by  refusing  now,"  said  he. 


She  smiled  as  she  repHed : 

"I  hope  you  are  not  of  the  opinion  my  happiness 
can  be  affected  thereby." 

''I  beheve  it  is  not  merely  because  you  disapprove 
Sunday  rides,"  he  said.  "You  don't  want  to  go  with 
me.     Am  I  not  right?" 

She  looked  worried,  and  her  face  colored. 

"The  truth,"  said  he;  "you  profess  to  know  noth- 
ing else." 

Then  she  looked  him  fearlessly  in  the  face  as  she 
said : 

"You  are  right,  but  I  dislike  to  be  rude  to  you." 

"And  will  you  carry  out  your  candid  role  and  give 
your  reasons?  That  is,  if  you  have  any?  This  may 
be  a  Doctor  Fell  case  with  you,  and  I  doubt  your 
having  any.     Women  seldom  do." 

"And  as  I  shall  not  give  mine,  it  is  useless  to  dis- 
cuss this  longer,"  she  retorted.  "I  shall  take  Mrs. 
Rowland's  lunch  to  her  and  you  can  prepare  for  your 

He  arose,  opened  the  door  for  her,  and  bowed  low 
as  she  acknowledged  his  courtesy,  his  wine-brown 
eyes  gleaming  with  humor. 

"Little  saint!"  he  said.  "I  believe  she  has  lots  of 
spirit,  for  all  she  seems  so  good.  I'll  go  up  and 
see  Augusta  a  while;"  so,  as  Mabel  was  attending 
upon  that  lady's  wants,  he  made  his  appearance  at  the 
door,  cigar  in  hand. 

"May  I  come  in  and  take  my  smoke  here?"  he 
asked.  "Sister,  I  know  a  cigar  is  never  offensive  to 
you,  but  Miss  Gordon  may  not  like  it.  Is  it  too  great 
an  act  of  desecration  for  me  to  smoke  at  all  to-day?" 

"You  are  a  law  unto  yourself,  sir,"  replied  the  girl, 
"and  certainly  are  not  amenable  to  me  for  anything 
you  do,  but  /  am  responsible  for  tny  conduct,  and  shall 
govern  myself  accordingly." 

He  bowed  gravely,  and  Mrs.  Rowland  asked : 


"What  is  wrong  with  you  two  now?" 

"What  do  you  suppose  your  paragon  did  just  now  ?" 
he  asked.  "She  actually  refused  to  take  a  drive  with 
me.    What  do  you  think  of  such  conduct?" 

"I  think,"  said  his  sister,  "that  no  other  lady  of 
your  acquaintance  would  have  done  so.  Why  did 
you,  Mabel?" 

"It  is  against  my  principles,  madam,  and  he  knew 
it,"  she  answered  quietly. 

"You  had  been  to  church  and  that  was  enough," 
he  said.  "You  had  given  the  morning  to  worship- 
ing your  God  and  you  might  take  a  little  recreation 
this  afternoon.  Your  religion  is  too  straightlaced.  Miss 
Gordon.  Your  ways  will  drive  sinners  from  you.  My 
faith  is  much  more  pleasant." 

"I  make  no  war  upon  you,"  she  said,  "and  must 
insist  that  you  let  me  alone." 

"And  if  I  do  not  heed  you,  what  then?" 

"'Twill  be  as  though  you  said  nothing,  for  it  is  not 
in  your  power,  sir,  to  change  my  belief,"  she  said  very 

"And  so  I  am  to  go  alone?  The  drive  would  be 
pleasanter  shared  with  someone." 

"Haven't  you  friends  of  your  kind,  and  couldn't 
you  get  one  to  ride  with  you?"    she  asked. 

"Oh,  yes,"  he  said;  "I  will  give  you  a  glowing  ac- 
count of  my  ride.  There  is  a  book  of  sermons  in  the 
library  you  can  read  if  you  w^.nt  some  amusement." 

"Rudolf,  you  are  simply  abominable,"  said  his  sis- 

He  bowed  low  to  her,  mockingly  to  Mabel,  and 
quitted  the  room. 

"Don't  mind  him,  dear,"  said  Mrs.  Rowland.  "I 
never  saw  him  act  so  before,  and  if  you  can  influence 
him  for  good,  pray  do  so." 

"I  shall  not  try  to  influence  him  at  all,  dear  lady, 
but  when  he  attacks  me  I  will  defend  myself,"  an- 
swered Mabel. 

74  MABEL    GORDO}/ 

"He  was  a  different  man  before  poor  Louis  lost 
his  reason.  They  were  noble  boys,  and  loved  each 
other  so  tenderly.  Ah!  what  have  I  not  suffered  on 
their  account.  Louis  was  not  quite  as  handsome  as 
Rudolf,  but  he  attracted  people  powerfully.  Some 
day  I'll  take  you  to  see  him,  and  you  will  wonder  how 
a  girl  could  turn  from  him  to  a  man  every  way  his 
inferior.  But  I  do  not  blame  Eleanor  as  Rudolf 
does,  for  I  believe  so  much  influence  was  brought  to 
bear  upon  her  by  her  relatives  that  she  had  to  yield, 
and  I  don't  suppose  she  thought  it  would  hurt  Louis 
as  it  did." 

"It  must  pain  her  greatly  to  know  she  has  caused 
such  suffering,"  said  Mabel. 

"I  think  it  does,  for  her  face  has  a  sad  expression. 
Rudolf,  however,  thinks  her  diamonds  and  other  ap- 
purtenances of  wealth  are  a  balm  for  her  every  grief." 

"I  think,"  said  the  girl,  "a  true  woman  could  not 
find  comfort  in  such." 

"She  realizes  that  now,  when  it  is  too  late.  Ah, 
child,  the  world  is  full  of  women  who  have  been  sold. 
The  slavery  that  existed  among  your  people  was  a 
dreadful  thing,  but  I  hardly  think  it  worse  than  the 
kind  going  on  everywhere  yet,  and  will  go  on  as  long 
as  the  greed  for  gold  lives,  and  that  will  be  till 
the  end  of  all  things  earthly.  I  know  numbers 
of  women,  bound  by  fetters  they  had  to  help  forge, 
while  their  hearts  are  ceaselessly  crying  for  liberty. 
I  wonder  how  mothers  can  force  their  daughters  into 
such  mockeries  as  some  marriages  are." 

"My  parents  would  rather  see  me  dead,"  said  Mabel, 
"than  to  have  me  wed  that  way,  and  I  would  not  be 
guilty  of  such  sin  as  I  believe  that  to  be." 

"A  noble  sentiment.  Miss  Gordon,"  said  Colonel 
Chester,  and,  turning  quickly,  Mabel  saw  him  stand- 
ing near  the  door. 

"I  thought  you  had  gone  to  ride,"  she  said. 


"I  changed  my  mind,  you  see,  and  came  back  to 
entertain,  and  be  entertained  by  you,  and  I  caught  that 
last  remark  of  yours,  which  I  applaud,  but  doubt  even 
your  being  able  to  resist  a  golden  bait." 

"I  have  none  of  myself,"  she  answered. 

"Neither  have  I,  dear,"  said  Mrs.  Rowland,  "and 
Rudolf  has  no  right  to  say  it  of  you." 

"Perhaps  you  will  see  her  tried  some  time,"  he  said. 
"You  must  take  her  into  society,  Augusta,  and  let  her 
learn  the  ways  of  the  world,  of  the  dear  ladies  one 
meets  at  all  the  fashionable  places  of  amusement 
during  the  week,  and  who  on  the  Sabbath  day  don 
their  church  dresses  and  religion,  and  hie  them  away 
to  service,  where  they  respond  with  such  grace  and 
unction  that  it  might  deceive  anyone.  Take  Eleanor 
for  instance;  she  looks  like  a  saint  and  is  utterly 

"Are  you   not  too  hard  on  her?"    asked   Mabel. 

He  frowned  and  pulled  his  moustache  savagely. 

"My  dear  young  lady,"  he  said,  "you  are  so  kind 
to  everyone,  save  myself,  that  you  are  incapable  of 
judging.  Wait  until  you  see  the  wreck  she  made, 
and  then  you  will  not  blame  me." 

"But  others  have  suffered  as  much  as  you  have  be- 
cause of  your  brother's  sorrow,  and  yet  not  been  made 
so  bitter.  There  are  v/omen  who  endure  terrible 
agony  of  heart  and  mind  and  keep  their  sweetness. 
If  men  had  the  Refuge  that  most  women  fly  to  in 
trouble  they  could  bear  their  sorrows  better.  Ah!  if 
you  knew  the  comfort  I  have  found  there  in  time  of 
trouble  you  would  want  to  know  more  of  our  Helper." 

"What  do  you  know  of  sorrow,"  he  asked,  "young 
and  care-free  as  you  must  be?" 

"Tell  us  what  troubles  you,  dear,"  said  her  friend, 
"and  let  us  help  you  bear  it." 

"Thank  you,"  she  said  gently,  "but  I  do  not  like  to 
speak  of  buried  hopes,  and  I  said  what  I  did  only  to 


let  Colonel  Chester  know  there  was  help  for  all  grief- 
burdened  souls." 

He  looked  at  her  curiously.  Her  face  was  so  full 
of  peace  and  sweetness  it  was  hard  to  believe  she  knew 
aught  of  sorrow.  Mrs.  Rowland  took  her  hand  ca- 
ressingly in  hers  as  she  said : 

"My  dear  little  girl,  your  life  rnay  have  held  much 
of  sadness,  but  I  shall  try  to  brighten  it  in  every  way 

Mabel  smiled  brightly  and  replied: 

"You  are  so  kind  to  me  I  am  quite  happy  here,  and 
all  that  worries  me  is  separation  from  my  home 

"You  don't  mind  interfering  with  my  happiness," 
said  Colonel  Chester,  "as  witness  the  way  you  treated 
me  this  afternoon." 

"You  are  not  hurt  much,"  she  said,  smiling. 

"Now,  Rudolf,  let  her  alone,"  said  his  sister.  "Go 
off  and  try  to  get  in  a  better  humor,  and,  Mabel,  get 
that  book  we  were  reading  and  let  us  finish  it." 

"Why  may  not  I  enjoy  the  reading  also?"  he  asked. 

"May  he  stay,  dear?"   questioned  her  friend. 

"If  he  wishes,"  she  said  quietly,  and  without  a  touch 
of  consciousness  she  began  to  read  in  a  low,  clear 
tone,  Colonel  Chester  leaning  back  in  an  easy  chair 
and  watching  her  face  closely. 



Despite  the  knowledge  Mabel  held  against  Colonel 
Chester,  she  found  him  very  interesting,  even  in  his 
cynical  moods,  and  she  quit  avoiding  him,  though 
she  by  no  means  sought  his  society.  He  was  always 
cutting  at  her  piety,  calling  her  "Saint  Mabel,"  and 
sneering  at  others  who  professed  to  be  Christians. 

One  evening  he  came  along  in  time  to  hear  the 
close  of  a  talk  between  Mabel  and  his  sister,  and  heard 
the  latter  say: 

"Yes,  dear,  go  by  all  means.  I  know  you  will 
enjoy  it,  and  if  I  were  stronger  I  would  go  with  you, 
but  you  will  be  in  good  company." 

Mabel  turned  away  and  he  asked  Mrs.  Rowland: 
"Where  does  Miss  Gordon  want  to  go,  and  with 

"To  church  to  hear  the  farewell  sermons  of  two 
young  missionaries  who  sail  soon  for  a  heathen  land, 
and  she  is  going  to-night  with  our  friends  next  door." 

"Do  you  suppose  her  saintship  would  allow  me  to 
accompany  her?"  he  asked. 

"You,  Rudolf!"    exclaimed  his  sister. 

"Yes,  I.  She  is  so  good  she  might  take  a  notion 
that  it  is  her  duty  to  offer  herself  as  a  missionary, 
and  you  can't  spare  her,  so  somebody  had  better  go 
along  to  keep  her  from  committing  an  absurdity." 

And  to  Mabel's  astonishment,  when  she  came  down- 
stairs, he  was  calmly  waiting  for  her,  and  coolly  said : 

"I  am  going  with  you  to-night." 

She  almost  gasped,  as  she  replied: 

"Do  you  know  where  I  am  going?" 

"Augusta  told  me,  and  for  fear  you  may  be  seized 


with  a  notion  that  "you  ought  to  accompany  those  half- 
witted creatures,  who  are  giving  up  their  Hves  for  a 
fancy,  I  deemed  it  best  to  go  with  you.  Take  my 

It  was  the  first  time  she  had  touched  him,  and  as 
she  sHpped  her  httle  hand  under  his  arm,  he  felt  a  de- 
gree of  satisfaction  and  a  kind  of  protectorship  new 
to  him,  for,  aside  from  his  sister,  many  years  had 
elapsed  since  a  woman's  hand  had  rested  on  his  arm. 
He  was  well  known  in  all  the  city,  and  his  infidelity 
was  no  secret,  so  when  he  entered  the  church,  with 
his  handsome  head  bared,  and  a  perfect  manner  toward 
his  girlish  companion,  there  was  quite  a  stir  among 
his  acquaintances,  all  of  which  he  understood,  but 
was  apparently  unconscious  of  the  sensation  he  cre- 

There  were  some  whispered  comments  which  Mabel 
did  not  hear  but  he  did,  and  his  long  moustache  con- 
cealed the  smile  on  his  lips  as  he  listened. 

He  sat  through  the  long  services,  conscious  of  feel- 
ing very  comfortable.  Somehow  having  that  fair, 
earnest  young  girl  near  him,  and  for  the  time  being 
in  his  care,  was  exceedingly  pleasant. 

At  the  close  of  the  exercises  an  appeal  was  made  for 
money  to  help  the  young  men  in  their  work.  Mabel 
took  out  her  little  purse  to  contribute  as  the  plate 
reached  her.  Colonel  Chester  watching  her  all  the  time. 
Suddenly  he  quietly  took  the  purse  from  her  hand  and, 
as  she  looked  at  him  in  amazement,  he  drew  out  of  his 
pocket  a  roll  of  bills  and  laid  them  on  the  plate,  leav- 
ing her  purse  in  their  place.  Of  course  she  could  say 
nothing,  but  her  face  flushed,  while  an  amused  look 
flashed  into  his  eyes. 

As  they  walked  out  of  the  church  he  drew  her  hand 
within  his  arm  again,  looking  very  grave  as  he  did 
so.  She  was  too  indignant  over  his  conduct  to  say 
anything  to  him,  and  they  walked  in  silence. 


"How  did  you  enjoy  the  services?"  he  asked,  at 

"Very  much,"  she  repHed. 

"I  thought  so.  Once  I  really  feared  you  were  go- 
ing up  there  to  offer  yourself  as  a  co-worker." 

"I  wish  I  could  do  some  good  in  the  world,"  she 

"Well,  you  can,"  said  he.  "There  are  heathen  at 
your  door,  so  you  can  begin  your  mission  at  once." 

"Who  are  they?"  she  asked. 

"I,  for  one,  am  called  a  heathen,"  he  replied. 

"I  shall  not  try  to  convert  you,"  she  said. 

"You  won't!  Isn't  my  soul,  if  I  have  one,  precious 
to  you?  Why  do  you  not  want  to  convert  me?"  he 

"r  didn't  say  I  did  not  want  to  convert  you,  but 
that  I  shall  not  try,  for  I  don't  want  to  have  you  tell 
me  to  attend  to  my  own  business.  Besides,  sir,  you 
have  every  advantage  all  of  us  possess,  and  if  you 
choose  to  neglect  such  an  important  matter  you  have 
only  yourself  to  blame  if  you  pass  an  eternity  of  woe," 
she  answered  decidedly. 

"No,  I  will  not,"  said  he.  "I  can  blame  such  people 
as  Eleanor  Heath.  I  saw  her  to-night,  and  if  my 
feelings  had  been  devotional  the  sight  of  her  false 
face  would  have  changed  them.  Didn't  you  see  that 
lady  a  few  seats  from  us  who  looked  at  us  so  in- 

"Yes,  sir,  and  I  liked  her  face;  it  is  very  lovely, 
and  has  a  sad  expression." 

"It  has  a  hypocritical  look,"  he  said. 

"Poor  woman !"  pitied  Mabel.  "She  must  suffer 
very  much,  and  you  are  so  hard  on  her.  How  do 
you  know  all  she  endured  before  she  sent  your 
brother  away?  And  don't  you  suppose  the  thought 
of  him,  shut  up  in  his  lonely  room  while  she  is  barred 
the  privilege  of  seeing  him  whom  she  ruined,  bound 


to  another  man  and  knowing  she  must  sin  even  to 
think  of  her  old  lover,  is  bitterness  indeed?  Ah!  be- 
lieve me,  she  suffers  enough  to  satisfy  even  you,  and 
because  she  turns  to  religion  to  find  solace,  you  call 
her  a  hypocrite.     You  are  unkind,  Colonel  Chester." 

"She  has  an  able  advocate  in  you,"  he  said,  "but  I 
can't  feel  kindly  yet.  She  may  be  sincere,  and  may 
have  repented,  but  that  does  not  bring  back  my 
brother's  lost  mind." 

"And  the  very  hopelessness  of  it  all  makes  her  sor- 
row greater.  I  sympathize  deeply  with  her,  and  so 
would  you  if  you  could  know  all,"  his  companion 

"Perhaps,"  he  said.  "I  remember  when  Louis  ad- 
dressed her  and  she  accepted  him.  The  boy  was  so 
happy,  and  when  he  told  me  of  it  he  said,  'Rudolf,  if 
you  only  knew  how  happy  I  am  you  would  yield  that 
heart  of  yours  to  some  sweet  girl,'  and  seeing  his  joy 
I  did  almost  envy  him  then,  but,  oh,  how  he  was 
crushed  when  she  sent  him  away.  He  came  to  me  so 
white  and  stunned.  'Brother,'  he  said,  'it  is  all  over, 
and  she  will  marry  another  man.  She  is  false,  and  I 
believed  in  her  as  I  did  in  God,'  and  he  was  never  the 
same  after  that." 

"Poor  fellow,"  sighed  Mabel,  her  eyes  full  of  tears. 
"How  he  must  have  suffered.  But  he  did  wrong  in 
idolizing  her  as  he  did.  Perhaps  if  he  had  not  done 
that  all  might  have  been  well." 

"Perhaps  if  old  Heath  had  not  offered  himself  and 
his  great  wealth  all  would  have  been  different.  There 
was  no  Providence  in  it,  Miss  Gordon,  only  a  love 
of  money." 

And  seeing  how  useless  it  was  to  intercede,  Mabel 

Their  acquaintance  progressed  very  well  after  that, 
and  the  more  Colonel  Chester  saw  of  the  girl  the  more 
he  believed  in  her  sincerity  and  earnestness. 


Several  days  after  he  went  to  church  with  her  he 
came  in  with  some  tickets  for  tlie  opera,  and  laid 
them  in  his  sister's  hands,  who  asked: 

"What  does  this  mean?" 

"I  want  you  and  Miss  Gordon  to  go  with  me  to 
hear  a  celebrated  singer,"  he  said.  "Where  is  she? 
I'll  ask  her  myself." 

"You  will  find  her  in  the  library,  writing  a  letter 
to  her  mother,"  replied  Mrs.  Rowland. 

He  went  in  quest  of  Mabel  and  found  her  coming 
out  of  the  room. 

"One  moment,"  he  said.  "I  want  you  to  go  to  the 
opera  to-night.  You  are  fond  of  music,  and  a  superb 
singer  will  be  there." 

"I  hardly  know  whether  I  can  go  or  not,"  she  an- 

"See  here,"  he  said,  "I  went  to  church  with  you, 
and  you  might  come  with  me  to  the  opera.  Your 
saintship  will  not  be  hurt  at  all,  and  it  is  such  a  treat 
to  you  I  want  you  to  enjoy  it." 

"Does  Mrs.  Rowland  approve?"    she  asked. 

"She  does,"  he  said.  Then  dropping  his  light  tone 
he  spoke,  almost  tenderly : 

"Child,  can  you  not  trust  me  at  all?  I  would  not 
do  you  any  harm." 

"I  do  want  to  go  so  very  much,"  she  said. 

"Then  make  ready,"  he  answered,  "and  look  your 

As  she  turned  to  go  he  said,  "Don't  you  want  your 

"Indeed  I  do.  Give  it  me,  please,"  and  she  held 
out  her  hand  for  it. 

He  laughed  softly,  and  put  her  hand  aside. 

"I  really  can't  spare  it,"  he  said;  "I  need  it,  too. 
You  may  have  what  change  is  in  it,  but  the  purse  I 
shall  keep." 


She  couldn't  understand  his  conduct,  and  she  drew 
back  a  trifle  coldly,  saying: 

"If  it  gives  you  any  pleasure  to  treat  me  thus  you 
can  do  so,  but  I  don't  believe  you  keep  my  simple 
portemonnaie  because  you  need  it.  I  can't  understand 
you,  sir." 

"My  dear  young  lady,"  he  said,  coolly,  "there  are 
many  things  beyond  your  comprehension,  therefore 
do  not  tax  yourself  trying  to  solve  them.  I  have  your 
purse  and  I  shall  keep  it,  and  in  its  place  I  offer  you 
this,"  handing  her  a  beautifully  embossed  portemon- 
naie with  gold  clasps. 

She  looked  at  him  in  perfect  amazement,  and  the 
color  dyed  her  face,  as  she  replied : 

"I  am  surprised,  sir,  that  you  should  think  I  would 
accept  a  present  from  you.  If  you  want  my  poor 
little  purse  you  can  have  it,  but  I  cannot  take  that 
from  you." 

"Very  well,"  he  said,  returning  the  pretty  trifle  to 
his  pocket.  "May  I  ask,  Miss  Gordon,  if  it  is  because 
I  offer  this  to  you  that  you  refuse  it,  or  do  you  not 
like  it?" 

"I  never  take  presents  from  gentlemen."  she  re- 
plied; "mother  has  always  told  me  to  decline  them, 
and  I  should  refuse  that  from  anyone." 

"So  your  objection  is  not  to  me?" 

"Not  entirely." 

"Miss  Gordon,"  he  said,  "have  you  made  up  your 
mind  to  dislike  me?" 

"And  if  I  have,  what  then?"  she  asked.  "It  cannot 
be  a  matter  of  concern  to  Colonel  Chester,  woman 
hater  and  atheist,  what  a  simple  maiden  feels." 

"Can  it  not?"  he  asked.  "Perhaps  you  are  right; 
at  least  for  the  present  we  will  not  discuss  the  mat- 
ter further.  Go  and  prepare  yourself,  and  Augusta 
also,  for  our  musical  treat  to-night.  At  least  you  will 
allow  me  to  furnish  tickets  for  all,  if  you  won't  take 


my  present." 

He  saw  her  no  more  till  she  came  down  with  Mrs. 
Rowland,  ready  to  go  to  the  opera,  and  as  she  turned 
toward  the  conservatory,  he  followed,  saying: 

"I  want  a  buttonhole  bouquet,  if  you  please.  When 
you  get  what  you  want  arrange  me  one." 

She  bowed  as  she  passed  through  the  doorway, 
and  in  a  few  moments  returned  with  some  odorous 
roses  for  herself  and  a  tiny  boutonniere  for  him,  which 
she  handed  to  him,  saying: 

"I  hope  this  pleases  you." 

"It  is  very  pretty,"  he  said,  not  offering  to  take  it 
from  her. 

"Aren't  you  going  to  have  it?"    she  asked. 

"I  am  waiting  for  you  to  pin  it  on  for  me,"  he  an- 

"I  prefer  your  doing  that,"  she  replied. 

"And  I  prefer  your  doing  it,"  he  said. 

Very  quietly  she  took  a  pin,  and  proceeded  to  fasten 
the  flowers,  he  looking  down  at  her  face  to  see  if  the 
swift  color  came  to  her  cheek,  but  if  he  had  been  the 
errand  boy  she  could  not  have  been  more  composed  or 
indifferent.     Suddenly  he  said : 

"Look  in  that  mirror  near  you,"  and  then  added 
softly,  "Is  it  not  a  pretty  picture?" 

What  she  saw  in  the  glass  was  a  tall,  elegantly  at- 
tired man,  bending  his  head  toward  a  slender  girl, 
who  stood  with  uplifted  arms,  busily  adjusting  flow- 
ers for  him,  and  she  moved  away  instantly. 

"You  have  spoiled  it,"  he  said,  "and  I  was  admir- 
ing the  scene.  Saint  Mabel,  you  have  no  compunction 
at  all,  when  you  interfere  with  my  pleasure,  though 
you  are  all  kindness  to  others.  Do  I  not  merit  more 
from  you?" 

"I  certainly  treat  you,  sir,  with  all  the  considera- 
tion you  deserve,"  she  returned.  "Please  let  us  go  to 
Mrs.  Rowland  now,"  and  she  led  the  way  out. 


Again  was  there  a  sensation  when  Colonel  Chester 
showed  himself  in  public  with  a  lady  besides  his  sis- 
ter, and  many  were  the  conjectures  as  to  who  she 
was.  Ke  saw  the  lorgnettes  directed  toward  their 
box,  and  Mabel  saw  his  face  take  on  a  look  he  always 
assumed  when  he  locked 'his  feelings  away  from  every- 
one. He  was  perfectly  satisfied  with  her  appearance, 
and  when  the  music  began,  and  he  saw  her  com- 
pletely carried  away  with  it,  her  face  beaming  with 
happiness,  he  smiled  and  leaning  near  said : 

"I  am  glad  to  see  you  enjoying  the  music  as  you 
do.    You  shall  interpret  it  for  me." 

"You  are  so  kind,"  she  returned;  "I  shall  always 
thank  you  for  this." 

Again  that  rare  smile  lit  his  face,  and  he  said  no 
more.  He  saw  several  gentlemen  looking  at  the  girl 
by  his  side,  as  though  they  wanted  an  introduction, 
and  young  Oscar  Fielding,  the  son  of  one  of  Mrs. 
Rowland's  friends,  was  so  glad  to  see  that  lady  out 
once  more  that  he  came  to  their  box  to  express  him- 
self, and  was  presented  to  Mabel.  Colonel  Chester 
gave  his  chair  to  their  visitor,  and  stood  at  the  back 
of  Mabel's,  one  hand  resting  on  the  chair,  the  other 
thrust  in  his  coat,  and  though  he  showed  no  feeling, 
yet  decidedly  wished  Fielding  had  stayed  away,  and 
was  not  sorry  when  it  was  all  over,  and  they  were 
seated  in  the  carriage  homeward  bound. 

"Did  you  enjoy  the  evening,  dear?"  asked  Mrs. 
Rowland  of  Mabel. 

"More  than  I  can  tell,"  she  replied,  and  then  was 
silent,  while  Mrs.  Rowland  talked. 

"Young  Fielding  asked  permission  to  call,  Mabel," 
she  said. 

"And  of  course  you  gave  it?"  put  in  her  brother. 

"Certainly  I  did,  for  he  is  an  excellent  young  man, 
and  the  son  of  a  dear  friend  of  mine.  Besides,  Ru- 
dolf, Mabel  must  have  more  young  company.    Youth 


loves  youth,  and  she  will  grow  tired  of  her  home  if 
she  is  shut  up  there  with  an  ailing  woman  and  a  cyni- 
cal man  all  the  time.  You  would  not  have  me  tcJl 
Oscar  to  stay  away?" 

"Oh,  no;  by  all  means  let  him  come.  He  is  con- 
sidered a  catch  by  maueuvering  mammas,  and  may 
some  day  ask  for  Miss  Gordon's  hand.  You  will  feel 
that  your  duty  is  discharged  if  you  can  see  her  mar- 
ried to  a  long  bank  account." 

"I  am  not  trying  to  catch  him  for  Mabel,  for  I 
don't  want  her  to  wed  anyone,  but  I  know  she  will 
some  time,  and  if  she  should  choose  someone  near  me 
I  am  selfish  enough  to  be  glad,"  retorted  his  sister, 
and  the  conversation  stopped. 

As  they  reached  home  and  Mrs.  Rowland  was  as- 
cending the  stairs  to  her  room  Colonel  Chester 
stopped  Mabel  a  moment  to  ask: 

"Of  what  were  you  thinking  so  intently  on  the 

"Of  my  dear  ones,"  she  said,  "and  of  the  sweet 

"And  what  of  the  music?"    he  asked. 

"I  was  thinking,"  she  said  softly,  "if  anything 
earthly  could  be  so  entrancingly  sweet  what  must  be 
the  melody  of  the  heavenly  chorus,  how  unspeakable 
the  joy  of  those  permitted  to  join  in  those  strains, 
and  I  was  lifted  out  of  myself  with  the  thought.  I 
think  the  music  alone  will  be  compensation  to  me  for 
all  I  may  endure  on  earth." 

He  was  conscious  of  a  queer  sensation  in  his  throat, 
as  he  said : 

"You  believe,  then,  that  you  will  be  in  that  heaven 
of  which  you  speak.     Why?" 

"  'I  know  that  my  Redeemer  liveth,'  "  she  answered, 
"and  I  know  in  whom  I  trust.  Good-night,  Colonel 

"Good  night,"  he  said  softly,  and  as  the  girl  went 


slowly  np  the  stairway  he  still  stood  where  she  left 
liim,  then  he  sighed,  as  he  said  to  himself: 

"Had  Eleanor  been  the  trne-hearted  being  that  Miss 
Gordon  is,  how  different  would  life  now  be  to  Louis 
and  me.  But  I  must  not  trust  too  much,  lest  this 
girl  should  prove  false,  though  all  her  life  seems  so  true 
and  pure." 



Young  Fielding  was  not  slow  in  availing  himself 
of  Mrs.  Rowland's  permission  to  call,  and  he  was  so 
pleasant  Mabel  thought  him  quite  an  addition  to  their 
quiet  life,  and  in  her  artless  manner  showed  him  she 
found  his  society  enjoyable,  and  he  was  careful  not 
to  tire  her.  He  found  that  their  voices  harmonized 
well,  so  he  often  called  with  songs  for  her  to  try  with 
him.  Sometimes  a  new  book  was  an  excuse,  and 
again  a  drive. 

Once  they  passed  Colonel  Chester,  and  he  lifted  his 
hat  with  stately  courtesy,  but  not  a  shade  of  a  smile 
dawned  on  his  face. 

"Colonel  Chester  is  an  elegant  man,"  said  Mr. 
Fielding,  "but  don't  you  find  him  so  icy  that  it  is  dis- 
agreeable to  be  about  him,  save  in  warm  weather?" 

"Is  he  icy?"  queried  the  girl;  "I  had  not  observed 
it  at  all." 

Her  companion  looked  closely  at  her,  but  her  face 
was  perfectly  innocent. 

"Perhaps,"  said  he,  smiling,  "  he  may  not  wish  to  be 
cold  to  you." 

"I  am  sure  he  treats  everyone  alike,"  she  returned. 

He  looked  at  her  again  keenly,  and  saw  that  she 
was  sincere,  for  the  fair  cheek  next  him  did  not  deepen 
in  color,  and  her  eyes  met  his  too  frankly  for  him  to 
suspect  that  the  cool,  reserved  lawyer  had  awakened 
more  interest  in  her  than  any  other  gentleman,  so  he 
changed  the  subject,  and  devoted  himself  to  entertain- 
ing Mabel  delightfully. 

Mrs.  Rowland  was  pleased  with  his  attentions  to 


her  protegee,  and  assured  Mrs.  Fielding  that  if  Oscar 
should  in  time  grow,  fond  of  the  girl,  she  could  wish 
him  nothing  more,  "for  portionless  as  she  was,  Mabel 
was  a  treasure."  One  evening  after  Fielding  left,  as 
Mabel  was  passing  the  library,  Mrs.  Rowland  called  to 
her  to  come  in,  and  entering  she  saw  Colonel  Chester 
had  come  and  settled  himself  for  a  cozy  talk. 

"Your  caller  leaves  early.  Miss  Gordon,"  he  said, 
"or  did  you  dismiss  him?" 

"He  left,"  she  answered.  "He  does  nothing  for  me 
to  send  him  away." 

"A  most  delightful  companion,  I  fancy.  Augusta, 
do  you  know  I  met  this  young  lady  driving  with  your 
favorite,  and  she  hardly  returned  my  bow,  so  absorbed 
was  she  in  what  he  was  saying?" 

"Do  not  believe  him,  dear  lady,"  said  Mabel.  "I 
was  very  polite." 

Mrs.  Rowland  smiled  as  she  said : 

"I  know  Rudolf,  dear  child,  so  give  yourself  no 

"Seriously,  Miss  Gordon,"  continued  he,  "you  are 
leading  poor  Fielding  into  a  bad  place.  I  don't  par- 
ticularly admire  him,  but  I  hate  to  see  anyone  hurt." 

"How  can  I  hurt  him?"   she  asked. 

"Dear  me,  how  unsophisticated !  Why,  child,  do 
you  not  know  Fielding  is  deeplv  in  love?"    he  asked. 

"With  me?"  she  said.  "Oh,' Colonel  Chester,  how 
can  you  say  so?" 

"Because  it  is  so,"  he  replied.  "It  is  no  secret 
among  us,  for  he  can't  hide  it.  and  I  surely  thought 
you  knew  it.  If  he  has  not  declared  himself  he  will 
soon,  and  then " 

"I  earnestly  hope  you  are  mistaken,"  she  broke  in. 
"I  could  not  love  him,  and  I  could  not  think  of  mar- 

"But  you  might  consider  all  that  an  alliance  with 
him  would  bring  you.     He  is  very  wealthy  and  his 


family  excellent.    You  would  be  a  leader  in  society." 

"Mabel  cares  so  little  for  such,"  interposed  Mrs. 
Rowland,  "that  I  fear  she  will  let  a  good  man  whom 
she  might  grow  to  love  go  away,  but  I  have  a  horror 
of  a  loveless  marriage." 

"What  are  you  going  to  do  about  this,  Miss  Gor- 
don?" and  Colonel  Chester's  brilliant  eyes  fastened 
themselves  on  her  face.  "You  certainly  will  have  to 
answer  him  soon." 

"Mrs.  Rowland,"  said  Mabel,  "I  want  to  go  home. 
Can't  I  go?" 

"Ah,"  put  in  Colonel  Chester.  "You  are  not  brave, 
Miss  Gordon,  else  you  would  face  this  thing.  Do  you 
fear  Fielding's  wealth  w^ll  overcome  your  high  ideas, 
that  you  fly?" 

She  turned  toward  him,  and  her  face  showed  indig- 
nation, as  she  replied : 

"You  know  better,  sir.  I  only  desire  to  save  him 
the  pain  of  a  refusal  in  case  your  surmise  is  correct, 
and  if  Mrs.  Rowland  can  spare  me  I  will  go  home  at 

Her  lip  quivered  over  the  dear  word  "home,"  and 
Mrs.  Rowland  said: 

"You  shall  go,  dear,  but  I  will  accompany  you,  for 
I  fear  once  you  get  back  among  those  dear  home  folks 
I  will  lose  you." 

"So  I  have  run  you  off,"  said  Colonel  Chester. 
"Pray  make  your  stay  short,  for  the  house  is  unen- 
durable to  me  w^hen  Augusta  is  away.  Miss  Gordon, 
your  face  is  radiant  already  at  the  prospect  of  going 
home.  I  very  much  suspect  Mr.  Fielding  has  a  rival 
in  your  sunny  Southland." 

"You  are  mistaken  again,"  she  said;  "I  am  much 
in  love  down  there,  but  it  is  with  my  dear  family — 
father,  mother,  Willie,  Nellie,  Mammy  and  Mal- 

"And  who  is  Mammy?"  he  asked. 


"Have  I  been  so  long  in  your  house  and  never  told 
you  of  her,  and  she  so  important?"    asked  Mabel. 

"It  is  possible,"  he  said. 

"Well,  she  is  our  dear  old  nurse,  and  her  face  is 
black,  aged,  and  some  call  her  ugly,  but  to  us  she  is 
charming.  When  I  go  home  she  will  take  .me  in  her 
arms  and  bless  me,  and  rejoice  over  her  'chile,'  and 
as  she  is  very  fond  of  Bible  quotations,  and  frequently 
gets  them  wrong,  she  will  tell  me  I  am  more  like 
'sounding  brass  and  a  tinkling  cymbal'  than  ever." 

"I  suppose,"  said  he  smiling,  "that  she  means  to 
compliment  you." 

"Indeed  she  does,  and  I  shall  receive  it  as  such  from 
her.  Dear  old  Mammy!  I  always  found  a  refuge  in 
her  arms,  and  she  has  enabled  me  to  carry  out  many 

"Does  she  live  near  you?"   he  asked. 

"Quite  so,  and  Willie  and  I  used  to  think  a  visit  to 
her  house  as  great  a  treat  as  mother  could  give  us." 

"Would  you  eat  there?"    he  inquired. 

"Certainly,  and  how  we  did  enjoy  our  meals.  She 
kept  her  best  dishes  put  away,  and  only  brought  them 
out  on  state  occasions,  and  when  we  were  there.  They 
always  delighted  us,  with  their  improbable  figures  and 
flowers.    You  never  ate  out  of  such,  I  suppose." 

"Hardly,"  he  said,  smiling. 

"Then  you've  missed  a  treat.  And  now,  Mrs.  Row- 
land, had  not  you  better  retire,  so  you  will  be  fresh  to- 
morrow? I  must  hunt  up  presents  for  them  all,  and 
would  like  to  have  you  go  with  me." 

"You  give  presents,"  said  Colonel  Chester  in  a  low 
tone,  as  she  came  near  him  in  leaving  the  room,  "but 
you  will  not  receive  any." 

"It  is  more  blessed  to  give  than  to  receive,"  she 
flashed  back. 

"Would  you  give  me  a  present?" 

"Only  to  relieve  necessity,"  she  said. 


"I  do  not  belong  to  the  charmed  circle,  I  see,"  he 

"You  do  not  care  to,"  she  retorted. 

"And  if  I  should?" 

She  opened  her  eyes  wide  with  astonishment,  as 
she  answered : 

"I  cannot  for  a  moment  think  you  would  join  my 
loved  ones.    I  bid  you  good-night,"  and  she  was  gone. 



The  preparations  for  their  southward  trip  went 
rapidly  on,  and  kept  Mabel  so  busy  that  when  Mr, 
Fielding  called  she  begged  to  be  excused,  and  that 
young  man  went  away  wondering  if  Colonel  Chester 
had  seen  his  devotion  and  stepped  in  and  secured  the 
prize.  Still  feeling  chagrined  and  hurt  he  met  the 
lawyer,  and  was  so  different  from  his  usual  self  that 
it  could  not  pass  unnoticed,  though  Colonel  Chester 
said  nothing  to  him,  and  was  coolly  courteous  as  ever. 
But  when  he  saw  Mabel  he  asked  in  his  grave  man- 
ner : 

"What  have  you  done  to  your  devoted  that  he  looks 
so  cast  dovv^n?  I  could  scarcely  get  a  bow  from  him 
when  we  met." 

"I  merely  begged  to  be  excused  when  he  called,  for 
I  was  too  busy  to  see  anyone." 

"And  you  may  have  offended  him,  and  thereby 
lost  a  fine  offer.  He  has  all  the  fashionable  follies  and 
many  little  sins,  but  doubtless  some  day  he  will  be  a 
shining  light  in  the  church — an  example  for  us  heathen 
to  follow.  His  mother  and  Mrs.  Heath  are  associated 
in  all  good  works,  and,  of  course,  the  lady  is  a  Chris- 
tian of  first  magnitude,  and  it  follows  that  the  son 
will  also  do  as  he  pleases  and  still  be  a  light  to  others." 

"At  least,  sir,"  retorted  Mabel,  "he  doesn't  sneer  at 

"Neither  do  I,"  he  replied  :  "I  scoff  at  the  exponents 
of  religion,  and  those  whose  fruit  is  faulty  I  judge  to 
be  hypocrites.  Miss  Gordon,  it  is  in  the  power  of 
those  who  profess  to  be  Christians  to  silence  us  all. 


If  their  lives  showed  their  belief  as  they  pretend  to 
hold  it,  we  could  say  nothing.  Fielding  takes  the 
Lord's  Supper  with  beautiful  solemnity,  so  I  am  told, 
and  I  know  he  holds  as  fine  a  hand  in  "cards  as  you 
will  see  anywhere,  and  drinks  with  us  heathen." 

"I  do  not  defend  his  sins,"  she  said,  "but  I  am  glad 
to  hear  that  'he  acknowledges  his  Creator  at  all.  It 
fills  me  with  horror  for  anyone  to  deny  the  existence 
of  that  Being  to  whom  we  owe  all  we  have  and  are, 
and  the  blessed  hope  of  immortality.  As  long  as  Mr. 
Fielding  believes  in  his  Maker  there  is  hope  for  him." 

"But  none  for  me,"  he  said.  "Well,  fortunately  I 
am  not  troubled  at  all  by  the  thought.  I  have  no  law- 
giver to  hold  me  responsible  for  every  thought  or 
deed,  though  for  my  own  sake  I  try  to  keep  out  of 
vice.  My  own  self-respect  restrains  me,  and  every 
man,  I  think,  should  so  conduct  himself  as  to  keep  the 
respect  of  the  world  and  himself.  But  enough  of 
this.  Are  you  coming  back  with  my  sister  ?  You  are 
so  happy  in  the  thought  of  going  home  I  fear  you 
will  not  return,  and  for  her  sake  I  desire  it  very  much." 

"And  for  her  sake  I  shall  try  to  overcome  my  long- 
ing for  home,  and  come  back." 

"Another  thing,"  he  added.  "Please  be  so  kind  as 
to  say  nothing  to  your  parents  of  my  scepticism,  for 
pious  as  they  are,  it  might  cause  them  to  keep  you 
from  coming,  and  Augusta  needs  you  so  much." 

Not  a  word  as  to  his  feelings  about  her  movements, 
and  knowing  him  as  she  did  Mabel  took  no  notice  of 
it.  Why  should  he  be  interested  personally  in  a  simple 
girl — he  whom  brilliant  and  beautiful  women  had  tried 
in  vain  to  captivate?  The  thought  of  making  an  im- 
pression upon  his  heart  was  absurd,  and  then  she  held 
too  much  against  him  to  want  more  than  courtesy 
from  him.  She  would  not  tell  Mammy  and  her  parents 
that  he  was  the  destroyer  of  their  home.  For  Mrs. 
Rowland's  sake  she  would  keep  back  everything  un- 


pleasant.  Her  friend  took  so  much  interest  in  her  little 
gifts,  and  seemed  so  happy  to  see  her  joy.  Colonel 
Chester  said  he  thought  they  all  should  feel  highly 
complimented  in  his  household,  because  of  Mabel's 
evident  pleasure  in  leaving  them.  He  went  to  the 
station  with  Mrs.  Rowland,  expressed  kind  wishes, 
and  told  Mabel  "not  to  feel  called  upon  to  go  as  a  mis- 
sionary while  away;  that  there  was  still  an  unculti- 
vated field  in  his  house,  and  it  was  surprising  that  she 
had  let  such  a  golden  opportunity  pass.  Some  women 
would  have  preached  incessantly,  and  yet  she  had  not 
once  mentioned  his  soul's  salvation  to  him." 

"Rudolf,"  said  his  sister,  "please  let  this  child's 
parting  recollections  be  pleasant,  for  if  you  keep  on 
teasing  her  she  may  not  return  with  me,  and  just  think 
how^  lost  I  w^ould  be.    Mabel,  don't  notice  him." 

"I  do  not,  madam,"  she  said  quietly. 

Colonel  Chester  bowed,  and  handed  her  out  of  the 
carnage  with  a  grace  seldom  equalled,  and  told  them 
good-bye,  charging  them  to  hasten  back ;  then  he  went 
to  his  lonely  home,  w-hile  they  sped  on  their  journey 
southward,  and  w^hen  Mrs.  Row^land  saw  the  joy 
Mabel's  home-coming  brought,  she  did  not  blame  the 
girl  for  longing  to  return  to  her  dear  ones. 

Old  Mammy  hobbled  forward,  when  the  parents  had 
greeted  Mabel,  clasped  her  in  her  arms  and  said : 

"Now,  Lawd,  I  dun  seed  dy  pow'r,  an'  dy  serbant 
kin  'part  in  peace.  Dese  ole  eyes  is  seed  my  blessed 
lam'  once  mo'  an'  dey  is  satisfied.  Bless  de  Lawd,  O 
my  soul !  I  so  happy  I  boun'  ter  shout.  Mis'  Marget 
an'  Mahster,  'scuse  me,  an'  yo'  lady,  mus'  let  ole  nig- 
ga  tell  de  joy  in  her  heart.  Yuse  had  my  chile  long 
'nuff  ter  know  how  good  she  is,  an'  yer  boun'  ter  on- 
derstan'  me.  An'  she  putty  too !  Nobody  g\vine  call 
my  baby  ugly  no  mo'.  Honey,  I  wuz  pow'full  skead 
sumbody  up  Norf  would  'swade  my  chile  ter  fergit  us 
all,  an'  when  mistis  say,  'Mammy,  our  darlin'  is  comin' 


home,'  I  jes'  ^all  down  an'  tried  tuh  tell  de  Lawd  how 
t'ankful  I  feel,  an'  pray  fer  strank  ter  be  hyur  when 
yer  cum,  an'  bless  de  Fadder,  I'se  hyur." 

Malviney  greeted  "little  missy"  with  a  shining  face, 
though  she  did  not  give  vent  to  all  her  mother  did, 
and  when  Mabel  brought  out  their  gifts  the  faithful 
creature's  delight  knew  no  bounds.  Mrs.  Rowland's 
eyes  were  moist  as  she  witnessed  the  joy  in  the  humble 
home,  and  she  said  to  herself,  ''I  wish  Rudolf  could 
see  this." 

Mrs.  Gordon  watched  her  daughter  closely. 

"Have  you  come  back  the  same  child  you  were?" 
she  asked. 

"Do  you  see  any  change,  Mrs.  Rowland?"  queried 

"Only  improvement,  dear.  You  have  a  daughter  I 
w^ould  give  much  to  call  my  own,  Mrs.  Gordon,  and 
I  feel  that  it  is  very  selfish  in  me  to  keep  her  from 
you.     She  certainly  reflects  credit  on  her  training." 

A  bright  smile  from  the  girl  thanked  her  friend, 
and  Mrs.  Gordon  said : 

"I  thank  you  for  your  praise,  and  for  keeping  my 
child  as  you  did.  We  all  know  what  a  friend  she  has 
found  in  you,  for  Mabel's  letters  were  full  of  your  good- 
ness to  her,  and  so  you  have  won  us  all,  especially  me, 
for  you  know  a  mother's  foolish  fondness  will  cause 
her  to  love  whoever  loves  her  child.  Mr.  Gordon 
feared  she  might  become  so  attached  to  her  new  friends 
as  to  forget  her  home  folks,  but  I  knew  her  loyalty 
too  well  to  have  one  fear." 

Mabel  took  her  mother's  hand,  and  held  it  caress- 
ingly to  her  face,  and  her  eyes  were  moist,  but  she 
said  brightly : 

"I  shall  have  to  see  father  about  that.  He  mustn't 
doubt  his  child  at  all.  You  and  Mrs.  Rowland  talk 
on,  and  let  me  go  to  him  now,"  and  she  left  to  find 
her  father. 


He  and  Willie  were  talking  to  a  man  on  business, 
and  she  waited  till  they  were  free,  then  she  and  Nellie 
walked  out  to  meet  them. 

"I  declare,  sis,"  said  Willie,  "you  are  as  pretty  as  a 
picture.  I  wonder  some  chap  up  North  didn't  try  to 
steal  you  from  us." 

"They  took  enough  of  other  treasures,  my  son," 
said  the  father,  ''to  spare  us  this  one.  I  earnestly  hope, 
my  daughter,  you  came  home  as  you  left,  and  that 
you  have  sufficient  of  your  father's  pride  in  you  to 
keep  you  from  loving  a  man  belonging  to  those  who 
impoverished  us  and  broke  our  hearts  also." 

"Make  yourself  easy,  father,"  she  said,  "I  am  in 
no  danger.  Willie  has  to  talk  nonsense  to  be  himself. 
Don't  let  him  disquiet  you  at  all.  But,  father,  I  have 
a  favor  to  ask,  and  that  is,  please  don't  say  anything 
to  wound  Mrs.  Rowland,  for  she  is  so  kind  and  loves 
me  as  if  I  were  her  own  blood." 

"My  daughter,"  replied  the  old  man,  "I  am  a  gentle- 
man, and  the  lady  is  our  guest.    I  need  say  no  more." 

"Forgive  me,  sir,"  she  begged.  "You  are  so  in- 
tense in  your  feelings,  and  sometimes  are  carried  away 
to  such  an  extent  you  forget  who  is  present,  but  I  know 
that  my  father  is  a  gentleman,  and  I  thank  the  Lord 
for  coming  from  such  ancestry  as  I  do." 

"She  can  get  it  all  right  if  anyone  can,"  said  Willie, 
as  the  father  drew  Mabel's  slender  form  to  him.  "She 
always  could  manage  pa  and  ma.  What  is  your  secret, 

"Love  and  respect,"  she  answered.  "You  know  the 
secret,  too,  brother,  for  you  also  have  been  taught  to 
honor  your  parents.  It  is  a  beautiful  thing,  and  adds 
so  much  to  anyone.  Nellie,  I  feel  sure  my  brother 
makes  a  good  husband,  for  he  was  a  good  son." 

"How  is  it,  Nell?"   asked  the  young  man. 

The  girl  wife  smiled  as  she  replied : 


"I  have  much  for  which  to  thank  his  parents,  for 
WilHe  is  all  I  can  expect  in  a  husband." 

"You  may  thank  Mab,  too,"  put  in  Willie.  "She  had 
lots  to  do  in  helping  me  to  be  somebody.  A  good  sis- 
ter is  a  blessing  to  a  boy." 

Still  talking,  they  approached  Mrs.  Gordon,  who 
was  standing  on  the  porch,  and  Mr.  Gordon  said,  as 
he  took  her  hand  in  his : 

"And  the  crowning  blessing,  my  children,  is  a  good 
mother,  such  as  this  one,  who,  though  time  has  made 
some  lines  in  her  face  and  silvered  her  hair,  is  the 
fairest  of  all  women  to  me." 



Of  course  Mrs.  Rowland  had  to  visit  the  old  nurse, 
Mammy  was  delighted  with  the  kind  manner  of  the 
lady,  and  seeing  the  interest  she  manifested  in  every- 
thing connected  with  Mabel,  launched  out  on  her  fa- 
vorite theme,  "de  fambly." 

"How  yer  lak  ter  stay  'mongst  us,  mistis?"  she 

"Very  much,"  replied  the  lady.  "I've  never  en- 
joyed a  visit  more.     Your  people  entertain  well." 

"Ah,  mistis,"  the  old  nurse  said,  shaking  her  head, 
"yer  ain'  gittin'  no  ennertainment  now  ter  whut  yer 
would  hab  ef  my  white  folks  wuz  lak  dey  uster  be.  I 
wush  yer  could  er  cum  erlong  befo'  de  wah  an'  seed 
how  we  lib  den.  Yer  see  dem  chimblys  stannin'  across 
de  fiel'  dar?  Dat  whar  de  big  house  wuz — de  put- 
ties' place  in  all  dis  country,  wid  de  big  pillahs,  an' 
de  roses  climbin'  up  ter  de  long  piazzers,  an'  de  wide, 
cool  halls  an'  gran'  rooms.  An'  de  magnoly  trees 
shaded  an'  sweetened  de  whole  place.  Dey  wuz  'stroyed 
by  de  fire,  too.  An'  de  cumpiny — uh!  de  cumpiny 
we  did  have!  I  kin  see  Mis'  Marget  now,  how  she 
look  all  dress  up  in  her  shinin'  silks,  an'  settin'  at  de 
head  ob  de  table  an'  it  all  glitterin'  wid  silber  an'  glass 
an'  chiny,  an'  Mahster  so  proud  an'  pulite  an'  dem 
blessed  chillun  growin'  up  lak  beautiful  flowers.  Lawd, 
Lawd,  we  didn't  had  no  thought  den  dat  de  time  eber 
comin'  when  all  dat  would  be  gone  foreber.  De  putty 
house  in  ashes,  de  chiny  broke  ter  pieces,  de  silber 
gone.  I  'members  how  proud  we  all  uster  be  when 
de  fine  kerridge  was  drive  up  tub  de  do'  an'  Sam  he 
sot  dar  hol'in'  de  lines,  de  proudes'  niga  in  de  Souf, 


caze  he  had  sech  fine  people  to  take  about  an'  sech 
fine  hosses  ter  drive.  Dey  gone  too,  an'  when  my 
baby  hyur  wan'  ter  finish  her  eddication  she  had  ter 
walk  ter  de  village,  after  all  we  once  had." 

"Never  mind  all  that.  Mammy,"  interposed  Mabel, 
who  feared  Mrs.  Rowland's  feelings  might  be  hurt. 

"But  I  do  min'  it,  honey.  It  hu't  me  ter  de  heart, 
chile,  den.  I  had  ter  t'ink  ob  de  days  when  all  dese 
fiel's  was  bloomin',  an'  plenty  ob  everything  wuz  made, 
an'  my  white  folks  had  all  dey  needed.  I'se  nuttin' 
but  a  po'  ignunt  ole  nigga,  mistis,  but  I  nebber  could 
see  whut  Massa  Linkum  wan'  ter  take  us  all  away 
fum  Mahster.  What  he  hab  ter  do  wid  us  when  we 
gettin'  long  all  right  ?  Sum  ob  de  niggas  nigh  erbout 
lose  their  senses  when  dey  hear  dey  free,  but  I  neb- 
ber 'joiced  an'  I  ain'  leff  my  folks  yet.  I  b'longs  heer, 
fer  I  bawn  an'  rais'  a  Gawdon." 

"You  are  certainly  faithful,"  said  Mrs.  Rowland. 
"Dey  faithful  ter  me.     Dere  ain'  nuttin'   in  Mis' 
Marget's  house  too  good  fer  me  w^hen  I  needs  it,  an' 
dey  tends  ter  me  when  I  sick  lak  I  one  ur  de  fambly. 
which  I  iz.    An'  little  missy  hyur,  an'  Willie  seem  lak 
my  own  blood.    Dem  fine  boys  whut  wuz  killed  lubbed 
me  too.     I  'member  when  dey  went  off — how  han'- 
some  and  brave  dey  wuz,  an'  when  Mis'  Marget  cry 
lak  her  heart  would  break,  dey  comfut  her  an'  tell  her 
dey  would  soon  cum  home.     Ah,  blessed  Lawd,  when 
dey  did  it  w^uz  ter  fetch  one  home  tuh  bury  him,  and 
de  odder  had  ter  hurry  back  and  leave  his  parents 
heart-broken,  an'  den  when  he  'scaped  so  menny  bat- 
tles we  hoped  he  would  be  spared,  an'  den,  de  news 
cum  dat  he  was  killed,  an'  den,  oh,  let  me  nebber  see 
sech  sorrow  ergin,  I  thought  Mis'  Marget  would  die, 
an'  Mahster  go  crazy.     Yer  eyes  is  wet,  mistis,  an'  I 
lubs  yer  fo'  yer  feelin'  heart,  an'  I  knows  yer  hated  tuh 
think  of  de  sad  hearts  on  bofe  sides  den.    We  stan'  de 
loss  ob  dem  beautiful  boys  de  bes'  we  could.     De 


Lawd  gin  Mis'    Marget    strangth    an'    she    hep  po' 
Mahster  tuh  bear  de  blow.     I  wuz  in  sorrer,  too,  an' 
when  I  heerd  sum  ob  dese  no-sensed  niggas  shoutin' 
caze  dey  free,  I  tole  um  I'd  take  a  cheer  and  break  it 
ober  de  head  ob  de  fust  one  dat  shouted  'roun'  me, 
an'  dey  wanted  to  know  if  I  hadn't  lost  my  'ligion  ter 
talk  so.     I  tole  um  'twuz  part  ob  my  'ligion  ter  weep 
wid  dem  dat  weep,  an'  when  my  own  heart  wuz  bustin' 
wid  grief  de  tears  mus'  flow.     Menny's  de  day  dem 
now  angel  boys  haz  laid  on  my  bres',  an'  when  I  t'ink 
o'  um,  now  dat  dey  ought  tuh  be  gran'  men,  ur  lyin' 
in  deir  graves,  one  we  don'  know  whar,  Mammy's 
ole  heart  gits  full'n  her  eyes  dim,"  and  the  nurse  bowed 
her  head  and  swayed  her  body  in  her  grief. 

Mabel  gently  took  one  withered  hand  in  hers,  and 
Mrs.  Rowland,  looking  off  saw  the  lone  chimneys, 
and  almost  imagined  them  monuments  to  the  soldier 

When  she  found  voice  to  speak,  she  said: 
"I  honor  you  for  your  devotion  to  your  friends, 
and  I  grieve  also  that  such  sorrow  came  to  you  and 
yours.  I  had  two  soldier  brothers,  and  oh,  how  much 
agony  I  endured  then,  but  God  kindly  spared  them  to 
me.  Had  they  been  killed  life  would  never  have  been 
bright  to  me  again.  My  sorrow  came  afterwards, 
and  sometimes  I  almost  feel  that  I  could  not  have 
suffered  more  had  they  been  slain." 

"So  yo'  suffered  too,  mistis,"  said  Mammy.  "Ugh ! 
it  wuz  er  cruil  wah,  an'  hurt  us  all.  But,  mistis,  atter 
all  yo'  had  yo'  home  lef,  while  my  folkses  butiful 
house  wuz  'stroyed.  I  knows  by  de  tennerness  ur  yo' 
heart  none  ur  yo'  people  had  it  dun,  an'  I  glad  tuh 
know  it.  Me  an'  Mahster  wuz  'posed  ter  little  missy's 
gwine  away,  caze  she  mought  be  wid  sum  er  dem  dat 
had  ur  han'  in  it,  but  I  satisfied  now." 

"I  am  sure,"  said  the  lady,  "that  the  one  who  de- 
stroyed this  home  must  regret  it  sincerely."     Then 


to  change  the  subject,  she  asked,  "Have  you  no  other 
child  than  your  daughter?" 

"Yessum,  I  had  sevval,"  repHed  the  woman,  "but 
nebber  rais'  but  two.  Cccsar  waz  my  boy,  an'  a  hkely 
young  nigga.  He  wuz  waitin'  boy  in  de  big  house, 
an'  de  white  folks  thought  de  worl'  ob  him,  an'  no- 
boby  b'lieved  Csesar  would  tu'n  fool  an'  go  'way,  but 
he  did,  an'  he  gone  yet.  He  an'  Malviney  ain'  lak. 
His  fadder  warn't  a  Gawd'n.  He  'longed  ter  sum 
folks  dat  run'd  through  all  deir  property  an'  waz 
sellin'  deir  black  uns,  an'  tuh  keep  me  an'  him  frum 
bein'  pahted  Mahster  bought  him,  do'  he  nebber  spe- 
cially lak'd  dat  blood,  but  he  say  it  wuz  a  sin  to  sep'- 
rate  famblies  dat  way,  an'  he  bliebe  de  Souf  sum  day 
gwine  ter  suffer  caze  ur  de  way  many  on  'em  dun." 

"You  seem  to  have  cared  little  for  freedom,"  said 
Mrs.  Rowland. 

"I  had  sech  good  white  folks,"  replied  Mammy, 
"but  all  warn't  so  lucky,  an'  Mahster  uster  to  fret 
sometimes  about  it.  Sum  ur  de  black  uns  wuz  spiled, 
sum  wuz  treated  good,  an'  sum  warn't.  I  know  dat 
long  ez  my  folks  haz  I  sha'nt  suffer  an'  I  lubs  ter  t'ink 
er  what  dey  iz  had,  ef  dey  haz  ter  do  different  now." 

To  keep  Mammy  from  getting  on  a  subject  that 
might  embarrass  her  friend,  Mabel  suggested  that 
she  let  her  read  before  leaving. 

"Yas,  do,  chile,"  responded  the  old  nurse,  "fer  yer 
voice  lak  sweet  music  when  yer  read  de  blessed  prom- 
ises, an'  I'se  missed  yer  pow'rful  all  dis  time." 

On  their  way  back  Mrs.  Rowland  said : 

"I  wish  Rudolf  could  have  seen  you  as  you  were 
reading  to  that  old  nurse." 

"I  am  glad  he  did  not,"  replied  the  girl,  "for  he 
would  have  sneered  at  me,  and  wanted  to  know  if  I 
had  not  some  idea  of  becoming  a  lady  preacher." 

"I  wish  he  would  quit  talking  in  that  way,  for  I 
know  it  is  unpleasant  to  you,  dear,  but  I  hope  you  will 


not  let  it  trouble  you  and  cause  you  to  refuse  to  return 
with  me.  I  had  a  letter  from  him  to-day,  and  he  tells 
me  Louis  is  not  well,  and  if  he  gets  worse  I  shall  have 
to  go  home.  Ah,  dear,  your  brothers  are  in  their 
graves,  and  of  course  you  grieve  for  the  brave  soldier 
boys,  but  I  don't  believe  I  would  sorrow  more  for 
Louis  if  he  were  in  his  final  resting  place.  We  all 
have  our  sorrows,  child;  no  heart  is  exempt  from 

"I  know  it,  dear  friend,  and  believe  me  I  grieve 
with  you  over  the  loss  of  your  brother's  mind,  and 
also  do  I  sorrow  over  Colonel  Chester's  sad  spiritual 

"I  bless  the  day,  Mabel,  that  you  and  I  met.  That 
is  one  good  thing  the  war  did.  It  gave  you  to  me, 
and,  child,  if  you  could  know  how  you  brighten  my 
home  and  life  you  would  gladly  go  with  me.  Some- 
how I  feel  that  your  mission  is  found,  and  you  must 
not  disappoint  me." 

"You  overestimate  me,  dear  lady,"  replied  the  girl. 
"I  feel  my  unworthiness  keenly,  but  if  the  Lord  would 
let  me  be  the  means  of  helping  somebody,  I  would 
be  so  thankful.  It  is  my  greatest  desire  to  do  good 
in  some  way,  no  matter  how  humble." 

"I  believe  it,  child.  You  certainly  do  me  good,  and 
I  trust  your  faith  may  yet  help  Rudolf,"  said  her 

"Colonel  Chester!"  exclaimed  Mabel.  "Why  he 
ridicules  me  in  every  way,  and  but  for  my  love  for 
you  I  should  long  ago  have  left  there." 

"Don't  let  that  affect  you,  please,  and  don't  tell 
those  pious  home  folks  anything  about  his  infidelity." 

"I  shall  not,  for  your  sake,"  replied  Mabel.  "And 
now  here  we  are  at  home.  I  hope  your  walk  has  given 
you  an  appetite." 

"If  it  has  not,  your  mother's  dainty  viands  will," 
returned  her  friend. 


Mabel  did  not  take  her  friend  with  her  when  next 
she  visited  Mammy.  She  wanted  to  be  alone  with 
her  nurse,  and  the  old  woman  was  impatient  to  have 
her  "chile"  as  she  once  had.  Very  tenderly  she  ap- 
proached the  subject  which  she  wished  to  question  the 
girl  upon.  Gently  stroking  Mabel's  hand,  as  she  held 
it  between  hers,  she  said : 

"Yer  looks  bright  an'  lak  yer  at  res',  chile.  Iz  yer 
min'  free  frum  all  'membunce  er  dat  botherment  yer 
hab  'fore  yer  went  away?  Fse  thought  er  heap  er- 
bout  dat,  an'  prayed  de  Lawd  ter  give  yer  strank  ter 
obercome  all  de  weakness  ob  yer  heart.  Young  things 
is  tender  an'  easy  hurt,  but  dey  heals  fas',  too,  an'  I 
hope  all  de  trouble  is  gone." 

"I  knew  you  were  praying  for  me,"  replied  Mabel, 
"and  it  helped  me  much,  but  some  of  the  pain  is  with 
me  yet,  I  am  ashamed  to  say.  I  don't  want  you  to 
think  I  long  for  him,  but  it  was  impossible  to  un- 
learn at  once  the  lesson  he  taught  me  so  well,  un- 
worthy as  he  proved  to  be.  I  think  in  time  I  will  over- 
come it  all  and  life  prove  other  than  it  has  seemed  to 

"Honey,  duz  dat  kunnel  lub  yer?"  asked  the  nurse. 

"Mammy!  what  on  earth  made  you  think  that. 
Why  he  hates  all  women  save  his  sister,  and  only 
tolerates  me  in  the  house  because  she  needs  me." 

"Huh !"  grunted  the  woman ;  "he  mus'  be  blin'  or 
'stracted  not  ter  keer  fer  my  chile,  but  I  doan'  wan'  him 
ter  fall  in  lub  an'  coax  her  ter  tak'  him.  I  got  ernuff 
er  dem  folks  long  ergo,  do'  I  doubts  his  bein'  mean 
lak'  dem  I  knowed,  caze  he  sister  so  kin'  an'  good.  I 
boun'  ter  lub  her  when  I  see  yer  both  so  wrap'  up  in 
each  udder,  an'  ef  yer  goes  an'  takes  one  er  de  men, 
I  s'pose  ole  Mammy'll  hatter  lub  him  too." 

"Spare  yourself  all  uneasiness  about  that,"  said 
Mabel,  smiling.  "I  am  safe,  I  think,  and  it  will  be 
long  before  I  will  yield  aught  save  friendly  regard  to 


any  man.  The  lesson  I've  had  was  severe  and  will 
last.  But  keep  on  praying  for  me  and  help  me  all 
3^011  can,  for  I  am  so  frail  it  takes  much  aid  to  enable 
me  to  live  as  I  should.  No,  you  mustn't  say  a  word  of 
praise,  for  I  do  not  deserve  it,"  and  she  laid  her  hand 
softly  on  the  woman's  lips,  for  the  old  nurse  was 
ready  to  burst  into  rapturous  praise  of  "her  baby." 

Then  Mabel  left,  and  obeying  a  sudden  impulse,  she 
turned  her  steps  toward  the  bars  where  she  and  Allan 
had  parted.  She  stood  for  a  while  in  thought,  and 
then  her  heart  went  out  in  earnest  prayer  for  the  friend 
she  once  loved,  and  for  strength  to  put  away  all 
thought  from  her  that  might  do  harm.  It  was  impos- 
sible for  one  of  such  strong  feelings  to  drive  out  in 
a  few  months'  time  thcit  which  had  been  years  in 
forming,  and  she  realized  her  own  inability  to  cope 
with  herself,  "so  she  threw  her  every  grief  and  care 
upon  the  One  to  whom  she  had  always  been  taught  to 
go  when  in  trouble,  and  He  gave  her  peace.  And  none 
of  the  home  circle  saw  anything  in  her  face  or  manner 
betokening  the  conflict  through  which  she  had  passed. 

When  after  supper  they  were  gathered  on  the  vine- 
embowered  porch,  and  her  father  asked  her  for  music, 
she  went  at  once  to  her  organ,  asking  what  piece  he 
preferred.  As  he  had  no  choice,  Mrs.  Rowland  asked 
her  to  sing  "Annie  Laurie."  That  was  Allan's  favor- 
ite, but  she  sang  the  swxet  song  through. 

Nellie,  out  of  the  experience  born  of  her  love  for 
the  gallant  young  husband,  who  sat  near,  and  whose 
hand  clasped  hers  fondly,  thought  there  was  a  sad- 
ness in  the  face  of  the  singer  that  the  song  alone  did 
not  bring,  and  she  wondered  who  had  ever  touched 
Mabel's  heart.  Willie  said  she  never  had  cared  for 
anything  but  books  and  music,  and  perhaps  he  was 
right,  but  she  doubted  his  knowing  all.  Feeling  that 
locked  up  in  the  young  girl's  breast  was  the  memory 
of  a  loved  one,  and  remembering  how  wretched  she 


had  been  once  when  she  and  Willie  "fell  out,"  the 
young  wife  felt  a  rush  of  tenderness  through  her  heart 
for  Mabel.  Rising  softly,  she  went  into  the  parlor, 
stood  by  the  girl,  and  as  the  music  ceased  she  said : 

"I've  come  to  help  you,  sister,  if  you  will  let  me. 
Play  something  for  me  to  sing,  and  then  you  shall  give 
them  more  of  your  sweet  voice." 

Mabel  felt  the  sympathy  the  little  act  expressed,  and 
she  smiled  as  she  touched  Nellie's  hand,  resting  on  her 

"Call  Willie,"  she  said,  "and  let  us  all  sing.  It  is 
not  often  we  have  such  a  dear  or  appreciative  audi- 
ence, and  as  we  will  soon  have  to  return  I  want  to 
give  and  receive  all  the  happiness  possible." 

"It  will  be  hard  to  let  you  go,"  replied  Nellie,  then 
she  called  her  husband  and  their  voices  soon  floated 
out  on  the  night  air.  Some  time  the  three  on  the  porch 
sat  in  silence,  then  Mrs.  Rowland  said : 

"I  shall  always  remember  with  pleasure  and  I 
thank  you  for  the  delightful  visit  to  your  home.  I  am 
a  better  woman  for  the  taste  given  me  of  life  in  this 
Christian  household,  and  seeing  the  everyday  life  here 
I  do  not  wonder  that  Mabel  is  the  girl  I've  found  her. 
I  hope,  dear  friends,  to  some  time  have  the  pleasure 
of  entertaining  you  in  our  home." 

Mrs.  Gordon  replied  in  her  gentle  manner,  and  Mr. 
Gordon  said : 

"If  Mammy  could  hear  you  express  pleasure  at  this 
visit  she  would  tell  you  that  you  should  have  come 
when  'de  Gawdons'  had  something  to  entertain  their 
guests  with.  Poor  old  soul !  she  grieves  more  about 
our  reverses  than  we  do." 

"She  ce^ainly  is  devoted  to  this  family,"  said  Mrs. 

"And  we  have  cause  to  love  her,"  replied  her  host. 

"Indeed  we  have,"  said  Mrs.  Gordon.  "I  remem- 
ber when  Robert  was  brought  home,  how  she  com- 


forted  me.  I  was  looking  for  my  boys  to  come,  and 
we  were  so  happy  fixing  everything  we  could  for 
them,  and  when  we  heard  again  James  was  bringing 
my  blue-eyed  boy  here  to  bury  him."  The  gentle  voice 
stopped  a  moment,  and  when  she  resumed,  the  tears 
seemed  near.  "It  was  dreadful,  and  beside  my  dar- 
ling's body  his  faithful  nurse  knelt  with  me  and  we 
mingled  our  tears  together.  I  thought  I  could  not  bear 
to  see  my  other  brave  boy  go  back  to  his  regiment,  but 
it  had  to  be,  and  oh,  how  I  prayed  for  his  life  to  be 
spared.  He  went  all  through  the  long,  sad,  struggle 
and  almost  at  the  end  was  killed.  I  fell  unconscious 
at  the  news,  and  when  I  awoke  Mammy's  arms  were 
round  me  and  together  we  mourned  for  our  boy.  And 
when  our  home  was  destroyed  she  was  our  sympa- 
thizing friend,  as  well  as  slave.  You  can  have  no 
idea  how  strong  is  the  tie  between  us,  for  you  have 
never  borne  such  grief,  and  cannot  know  what  it  is  to 
suffer  so  much,  and  have  the  bond  that  mutual  suffer- 
ing creates." 

"Believe  me,  dear  friend,  my  own  heart  aches  when 
I  think  of  all  you  endured,  and  I  do  not  wonder  that 
we  Northerners  sometimes  meet  with  a  cold  reception. 
The  memory  of  such  sorrow  is  enough  to  embitter  any- 
one," Mrs.  Rowland  said  earnestly. 

Mr.  Gordon  had  been  silent  while  his  wife  spoke, 
but  he  answered  his  guest: 

"You  are  right,  ma'am,  and  the  memory  will  last 
as  long  as  life.  I  feel  no  bitterness  toward  those  who 
met  our  men  in  fair  fight,  but  for  those  who  pillaged 
and  burned,  and  made  war  upon  defenceless  old  men 
and  women  I  will  always  have  the  bitterest  feelings. 
You  do  not  have  any  conception  of  what  one  feels  to 
stand  by  powerless  and  see  the  things  he  loves  ruth- 
lessly broken,  and  the  torch  his  home.  I  am 
glad  to  know  our  men  left  behind  them  no  such  recol- 
lections for  the  people  among  whom  the  fortunes  of 


war  cast  them  for  a  time.  I  would  hide  my  head 
with  shamcif  they  had  forgotten  what  was  due  others 
in  warfare  of  a  civiHzed  age,  and  brought  dishonor 
upon  their  noble  commander,  whose  order  was  explicit 
that  his  men  must  deport  themselves  like  men.  I  did 
not  want  the  war,  madam,  and  fought  hard  to  avert 
it.  True,  I  held  slaves,  but  I  would  have  freely  given 
every  one  his  freedom  if  that  could  have  kept  off  that 
cruel  struggle.  I  think  Mr.  Lincoln  transcended  his 
authority  and  invaded  individual  rights  when  he  is- 
sued his  proclamation  of  emancipation,  and  it 
naturally  aroused  my  indignation;  but  when  I 
looked  into  the  future,  and  saw  the  sorrow  and  pain 
in  store  for  us  all  should  the  conflict  come,  gladly 
would  I  have  sacrified  to  save  it,  but,  ah!  it  came, 
and  we  were  sacrificed  then.  Everything  is  gone — 
property,  home,  and  above  all,  my  boys." 

The  old  man  rose  and  paced  the  floor,  and  the  sighs 
that  burst  from  him  showed  that  time  had  not  yet 
healed  the  wounds  in  his  heart.  Mrs.  Rowland  could 
say  nothing  to  comfort  him,  for  in  the  presence  of 
such  grief  she  felt  powerless. 

Knowing  she  must  feel  the  situation  keenly,  Mrs. 
Gordon  said  to  her  husband : 

"Dear,  you  must  not  let  yourself  feel  as  you  do,  or 
at  least  don't  give  vent  to  such  feelings  now — you 
pain  our  friend,  and  no  good  is  done.  If  grief  could 
bring  back  our  boys  they  would  long  ago  have  glad- 
dened our  home  again,  for  only  a  bereft  mother  knows 
how  my  heart  has  almost  broken  under  its  load  of 
sorrow.  I  try  to  believe  it  is  all  for  the  best.  I  know 
an  All-wise  One  governs  us,  and  He  can  make  these 
present  afflictions  work  out  for  us  a  far  more  exceed- 
ing and  eternal  weight  of  glory.  In  His  hands  I  place 
my  all,  and  some  time  the  fruition  of  this  hope  will 
come.  I  shall  have  my  children  with  me  forever, 
where  no  trouble  comes — where  no  man  can  take  from 

108  'MABEL    GORDON 

US  our  home,  and  in  that  'home  not  built  with  hands'  we 
all  will  spend  an  eternity  of  bliss.  I  rejoice  that  at 
last  we  may  all  lay  down  the  differences  of  earth,  and 
meet  in  that  fair  land  where  all  is  peace  and  love,  and 
having  this  hope  let  us  bury  the  dead  past  and  try  to 
forgive  as  we  want  to  be  forgiven." 

"Amen,"  said  Mrs.  Rowland  softly.  "Dear  friend, 
I  wish  more  of  our  women  could  feel  as  you  do." 

"You  know  more  of  m}^  feelings,  perhaps,"  replied 
Mrs.  Gordon.  "Let  us  go  in  now  and  we  will  not 
again  recur  to  so  sad  a  theme  while  you  are  here.  I 
beg  your  pardon  for  making  you  feel  bad  over  our 

"Indeed,  I  am  glad  to  hear  some  one  on  the  other 
side  talk,  for  I  know  my  own  already,  and  it  is  im- 
possible to  judge  a  people  correctly  until  one  knows 
all,"  responded  the  guest. 

"And  that,  dear  friend,  you  can  never  know,"  said 
Mrs.  Gordon,  "for  one  has  to  live  through  it  to  know 
all.  Still  we  appreciate  your  fairness  and  kindly  feel- 
ing, and  if  your  people  were  all  like  you  the  breach 
between  us  would  heal  quickly.  I  am  glad  you  have 
come  among  us,  and  it  will  always  be  a  pleasure  to 
have  you  in  our  home.  The  young  people  are  sing- 
ing my  song  now;  let  us  go  in  and  enjoy  them  a 

"Make  the  most  of  Mabel,"  said  Mrs.  Rowland 
smiling,  "for  I  shall  rob  you  of  her  again  soon.  Ru- 
dolf wants  me  to  return,  and  if  you  are  willing  I 
shall  go  in  a  few  days.  Mabel  can  come  home  when- 
ever she  feels  that  she  must  see  her  dear  ones." 

Mrs.  Gordon  sighed,  as  she  answered : 

"The  time  has  flown  so  rapidly  since  she  came  I 
hardly  feel  that  she  has  been  with  us,  and  we  will 
miss  her  sadly." 

"I  know  it,"  responded  the  other,  "but  think  of 
me,  whom  God  in  his  wisdom    saw  fit  to  deny  the 


blessed  gift  of  children,  and  pity  my  loneliness.  You 
have  your  manly  son  and  his  sweet  wife  to  brighten 
life  for  you,  while  if  Mabel  is  taken  from  me  I  will 
be  alone,  save  for  Rudolf,  and  he  is  so  engaged  with 
his  business  he  is  very  little  company  for  me,  and  you 
know  where  my  poor  Louis  is." 

"Forgive  me  for  allowing  a  very  natural  selfishness 
to  cause  me  to  want  to  keep  my  child.  We  are  all 
more  or  less  selfish,  I  know,"  and  Mrs.  Gordon  smiled 
as  her  guest  replied : 

"I  plead  guilty." 

And  then  as  they  were  ready  to  disperse  for  the 
night  the  mother  leaned  over  the  fair  3^oung  song- 
stress, whose  face  was  lifted  for  the  "good-night"  kiss 
and  blessing.  Other  "good-nights"  were  interchanged, 
then  ere  long  silence  fell  upon  the  household. 

As  Mrs.  Rowland  was  almost  asleep  she  said  to 
Mabel : 

"Somehow  I  feel  that  the  Angel  of  Peace  keeps  spe- 
cial watch  over  this  house,"  and  Mabel  answered 
softly : 

"I  will  both  lay  me  down  in  peace  and  sleep,  for 
thou,  Lord,  only  makest  me  dwell  in  safety." 



In  a  short  while  Mabel  again  said  a  sad  good-bye 
and  started  northward  with  her  friend.  Colonel 
Chester  met  them  at  the  station  and  right  glad  was  he 
to  w^elcome  them  home.  Putting  up  his  glass,  he  eyed 
Mabel  keenly,  then  said : 

"Well,  Miss  Gordon,  your  stay  upon  your  native 
heath  hasn't  improved  your  appearance.  You  are  not 
looking  as  bright  as  when  you  left.    Are  you  ill?" 

"She's  tired  from  the  journey,  Rudolf,"  said  his 
sister.     "You  men  are  so  ignorant!" 

"Thank  you,"  he  said  gravely;  "I  acknowledge  mine 
freely.  I  didn't  know  to  what  to  attribute  her  changed 
looks.  The  thought  occurred  to  me  she  might  be 
grieving  about  having  to  leave  a  place  where  piety 
was  rampant  to  dwell  in  ^.the  same  house  with  a 
heathen,  such  as  I  am  called." 

"Rudolf,  you  shall  not  begin  teasing  this  child  as 
soon  as  she  reaches  home,"  said  Mrs.  Rowland. 

Mabel  turned  and  looked  him  in  the  face  as  she  said 
a  little  coldly: 

"Among  your  many  imperfections.  Colonel  Ches- 
ter, I  failed  to  see  egotism,  but  if  you  think  that  I  have 
no  pleasanter  subject  to  dwell  upon,  or  that  you  oc- 
cupy my  thoughts  to  such  an  extent,  you  are  an  ego- 
tist of  the  first  magnitude.  I  am  not  troubling  my- 
self over  your  condition." 

He  bowed,  as  he  said : 

"So  I  perceive.  I  admire  your  candor,  if  you  do 
thereby  assure  me  that  it  is  of  no  consequence  to  3^ou 
whether  or  not  my  soul  is  lost.    But  I  understood  that 


your  religion  made  those  who  profess  it  anxious  to 
save  everyone." 

"I  said,  sir,  that  I  was  not  troubUng  myself  about 
your  spiritual  condition,  because  I  believe  in  His  own 
good  time  God  will  open  your  heart  to  receive  the 
truth.  How  you  will  be  led  to  seek  Him,  or  by  what 
agency  He  is  to  reach  you,  I  have  no  idea." 

"But  you  know  I  will  yield.  Your  faith  is  very 
pretty,  and  it  is  a  pity  for  you  to  be  disappointed." 

"I  shall  not  be,"  she  answered. 

The  conversation  ended  there,  and  he  tried  to  let 
the  girl  see  he  was  indeed  glad  to  have  her  with  him 
once  more.  He  watched  her  manner  when  she  met 
her  gentleman  friends,  and  it  was  impossible  to  see  that 
she  was  more  interested  in  one  than  another.  She  was 
going  out  to  a  musical  entertainment  with  Mrs.  Row- 
land one  evening,  and  as  she  passed  the  library  door 
she  saw  him  standing  near  the  open  grate,  thought- 
fully looking  at  the  glowing  coals  as  though  he  had 
involuntarily  paused  in  his  walk.  Hearing  her  foot- 
step, he  looked  around  and  then  walked  slowly  to  her. 

"Could  you  spare  me  a  little  time  after  you  return 
to-night?"  he  asked. 

"It  will  be  late,"  she  said. 

"No  matter;  I  will  be  awake,  and  you  can  get  back 
your  sleep  to-morrow.    I  will  not  keep  you  up  long." 

He  looked  so  grave  she  was  uneasy. 

"Have  you  heard  bad  news  that  you  wish  to  tell 
me?"  she  asked. 

"I  cannot  say  yet,"  he  replied,  "but  don't  let  me 
drive  the  roses  from  your  face.  You  must  look  your 
best  to-night,  and,  by  the  way,  you  do  look  well. 
That  dress  is  very  becoming,  and  your  bonnet  crowns 
your  curls  beautifully." 

"A  compliment  from  Colonel  Chester  is  so  rare  it 
should  be  appreciated,"  she  answered,  smiling.  "I  will 
give  you  a  fiovk^er  for  that  nice  speech." 


He  took  the  offered  bud,  and  fastened  it  in  his  but- 
tonliole,  saying  as  he  did  so : 

"And  a  favor  from  Miss  Gordon  is  also  rare  enough 
'  to  be  highly  prized.  Don't  forget  you  will  find  me 
here  when  you  come  home;  and  please  let  me  see  you. 
An  admirer  of  yours  approached  me  to-day  in  regard 
to  you  and  I  promised  to  see  how  you  feel  toward 

"I  can  tell  you  now,"  she  said. 

"Can  you?  Well,  I  prefer  to  lay  the  case  before 
you  as  it  should  be  and  then  get  a  decision." 

"You  lawyers  will  bring  your  cool  ways  into  every- 
thing," she  retorted. 

"Even  into  Cupid's  court,"  said  he.  "Well,  we  play 
such  an  important  part  in  the  cases  that  sometimes 
result  from  his  court  that  it  is  a  pity  our  ways  could 
not  come  in  sooner.  A  little  more  reason  might  save 
many  heartaches  and  lots  of  expense.  But  I  am  de- 
taining you,  so  I'll  wish  you  a  very  happy  evening 
and  many  beaux.  I  believe  they  are  essential  to  all 
young  ladies'  happiness." 

"Now  you  are  getting  back  to  your  usual  style,"  she 
said,  "and  I  wish  I  had  kept  my  flower." 

"As  it  is  the  first  gift  you  ever  made  me,  I  shall 
keep  it,"  he  said.  "Of  your  abundance  you  might 
give  me  one  small  flower." 

"Keep  it,  then,"  she  said ;  "I  shall  not  miss  it.  Good- 
night, till  I  see  you  again." 

"Good  evening,"  he  replied,  and  she  left  him  to  go 
to  Mrs.  Rowland,  who  had  tried  to  induce  her  brother 
to  accompany  them  and  failed,  because  he  said  he  had 
an  important  case  on  hand  and  had  to  think  much. 

But  not  long  after  they  had  been  seated  and  were 
enjoying  the  evening,  Mabel  saw  him  making  his  way 
to  them.  He  had  exchanged  his  home  suit  for  a  fault- 
less evening  one,  which  set  off  his  fine  figure  perfectly. 

"What  a  splendid  looking  man  Colonel  Chester  is," 


remarked  a  lady  near  them,  "and  what  a  pity  he  is 
such  a  woman  hater." 

Bowing  easily  to  his  many  acquaintances,  he 
stopped  by  Mabel,  who  smiled  a  welcome. 

"I  am  glad  to  see  you,  brother,"  said  Mrs.  Row- 
land, "and  I  also  see  men  can  change  their  minds  as 
quickly  as  women." 

"You  do  not  want  a  monopoly,  do  you?"  he  asked. 
"Certainly  we  change  our  minds  sometimes.  I  am 
more  changeable  than  Miss  Gordon.  She  is  always 
sure  she  is  right,  and  no  ordinary  power  can  change 
her  once  her  mind  is  made  up." 

"Hush,  please,  and  let  us  enjoy  this  entrancing 
music.  You  and  I  can  quarrel  when  we  go  home.  I 
believe  you  really  enjoy  that  more  than  anything 
else.     What  made  you  come?"  asked  Mabel. 

"A  polite  question,  truly,"  he  returned.  "Suppose 
I  tell  you  it  was  to  be  with  you." 

"I  shall  not  believe  you,"  she  answered. 

"As  you  please,"  he  said. 

She  turned  away,  her  color  heightened,  and  when 
she  next  looked  at  him  he  was  apparently  oblivious  of 
her  existence.  When  a  gentleman  came  and  asked 
permission  to  show  her  some  beautiful  flowers  he 
quietly  made  way  for  the  newcomer,  who  took  the 
girl  to  the  conservatory  and  there  saved  Colonel  Ches- 
ter the  trouble  of  stating  his  case  for  him.  When 
Mabel  returned  to  Mrs.  Rowland  the  lawyer  looked 
keenly  at  her  face,  and  a  peculiar  smile  shone  on  his 
own  as  she  said  to  her  friend  that  if  it  was  agreeable 
to  her  she  would  like  to  go  home.  Mrs.  Rowland  was 
ready  to  go,  and  Colonel  Chester  rose,  offering  an 
arm  to  each.  When  they  reached  home  he  said,  as  he 
helped  Mabel  from  the  carriage : 

"Remember,  I  shall  look  for  you  to  come  to  the  li- 
brary or  parlor  after  you  have  seen  Augusta  settled 
for  the  night." 

114'  MABEL    GORDON. 

"Very  well,"  she  replied,  and  when  she  had  finished 
her  ministrations  to  Mrs.  Rowland  she  went  down  to 
the  parlor,  wondering  greatly  what  he  had  to  say. 

He  was  sitting  with  his  head  thrown  back,  reveal- 
ing his  shapely  throat,  and  she  paused  a  moment  to 
look  at  the  unconscious  grace  of  his  figure. 

He  did  not  hear  her  enter,  nor  know  of  her  near- 
ness till  the  odor  of  the  flowers  she  wore  floated  over 
him,  when  he  rose,  and,  offering  her  a  chair,  said : 

"You  came  before  I  expected  you,  and  caught 
me " 

"Napping,  I  thought,"  she  broke  in,  "and  it's  what 
I  should  be  doing.  Will  not  your  talk  keep  till  to- 
morrow ?" 

"Yes,"  said  he,  "but  I  want  to  lay  this  matter  be- 
fore you  and  let  you  be  considering,  and  to-night 
seemed  a  good  time.  Von  Bulow  asked  me  to  see  you 
for  him  and  to  learn  something  of  the  state  of  your 
affections.  He  is  desirous  of  addressing  you,  and 
has  a  morbid  fear  of  a  refusal,  so  deputed  me  to  as- 
certain how  he  stood." 

"It  seems  to  me  a  man  could  plead  his  own  case 
best,"  she  answered. 

"I  think  so,"  he  replied;  "but  we  have  to  allow  for 
peculiarities,  you  know.  Am  I  to  tell  him  there  is 
any  hope  for  him?" 

"I  think  not,"  she  replied. 

"But,  Miss  Gordon,"  said  he,  "you  must  not  forget 
the  advantages  that  a  union  with  him  means.  He  is 
considered  a  decided  catch  in  the  matrimonial  mar- 

"I  do  not  love  him,"  she  said,  "and  there  could  be 
no  advantage  to  either  in  such  a  marriage.  He  is  very 
pleasant  as  an  acquaintance,  and  that  is  all  he  can  ever 
be  to  me." 

"So  you  still  hold  to  the  ideas  you  advanced  when 
you  first  came?     I  thought  perhaps  you  had  grown 


worldly-wise  since  seeing  more  of  life.      Poor   Von 
Bulow !    I  am  sorry  for  him,  for  he  is  in  dead  earnest." 

''If  you  are  done  with  me  I  will  leave  you  now," 
she  said,  rising. 

"Keep  your  seat,  please,"  said  he;  "I  have  more  to 

He  took  a  few  turns  about  the  room,  then  he  paused 
before  her. 

"Miss  Gordon,"  he  said,  "if  you  will  not  hear  me 
for  another,  will  you  listen  to  me  plead  for  myself?" 

She  looked  at  him  in  wide-eyed  amazement. 

"Colonel  Chester!"  she  exclaimed,  "what  can  you 
mean  ?" 

He  smiled  at  her  look  and  answered : 

"Simply  that  I  love  you  and  want  to  make  you  my 
wife.  I  promised  Von  Bulow  to  see  you  for  him,  and 
I  have  done  my  best.  'Twas  hard,  but  I  laid  my  feel- 
ings aside  till  his  case  was  disposed  of,  and  now  I  am 
free  to  seek  your  hand.  I  know  you  are  surprised,  for 
I  have  not  revealed  my  feelings  much,  and  you,  not  be- 
ing vain,  never  saw  even  what  I  showed.  I  love  you 
with  all  my  heart,  and  if  you  will  give  me  the  keeping 
of  your  young  life  I  will  cherish  it  as  my  most  pre- 
cious possession.  Is  there  any  hope  for  me?  I  pray 
you  to  deal  candidly  with  me.     Answer  me,  Mabel." 

"I  don't  know  what  to  say  to  you,  for  I  am  dumb 
Vv'ith  astonishment.  How  could  you  call  me  such 
names  as  you  did,  and  sneer  at  me  if  you  loved  me? 
Love  is  kind,  and  you  were  not." 

"Still,  I  love  you,"  he  said,  "and  I  am  very  much 
ashamed  of  my  rudeness.  Your  truth  and  purity  com- 
pelled my  respect,  and  your  gentleness  and  sweet- 
ness crept  into  my  heart  before  I  knew  it.  Won't 
you  say  'yes'  to  me?" 

Her  eyes  fell  even  lower,  and  her  face  was  very 
white  as  she  answered : 

"The  truth  compels  me  to  say  'no.'  " 


"Don't  tell  me  that  unless  you  want  to  kill  me," 
he  cried.  "Child,  be  merciful  to  me.  I,  who  never 
asked  mercy  of  anyone,  who  have  never  bowed  to  any 
woman,  lay  my  all  at  your  feet,  and  beseech  you  for 
mercy.  Oh,  come  to  me,  Mabel,  and  bless  my  life 
with  your  love."  He  knelt  before  her,  his  voice  low 
and  sweet,  his  face  full  of  emotion  and  never  hand- 
somer; but  beyond  the  pleading  lover  she  seemed  to 
look,  and  she  saw  a  band  of  angry  men,  a  group  of 
frightened  slaves,  her  father's  agonized  face  and  her 
mother's  anguish  as  she  clasped  the  children  to  her 
breast  to  shut  from  them  the  sight  of  their  burning 
home,  and  the  man  now  pleading  for  her  love  was  the 
one  who  had  no  mercy  upon  them  in  their  helpless- 

Then,  too,  he  scoffed  at  religion,  and  what  con- 
geniality could  there  be  between  them?  None,  she 
thought,  and  as  he  awaited  her  answer  it  came. 

"It  is  impossible,"  she  said  quietly;  "I  do  not  love 

"Mabel,"  he  said,  "stop.  Have  you  thought  what 
*no'  from  you  means  to  me?  You  will  take  from  me 
the  sweetest  hope  I  ever  knew,  for  while  you  gave 
me  no  reason  to  think  you  cared  for  me,  yet  I  did  build 
air  castles,  and  hoped  that  when  you  knew  of  my  great 
love  your  heart  would  answer  mine.  Is  there  anyone 
before  me?  Perhaps  you  can  learn  to  love  me,  and  I 
will  be  so  patient  if  you  will  promise  me  even  to 

"I  can  make  no  promise,"  she  said. 

"Let  me  hope,  please,"  he  begged. 

"I  don't  think  my  feelings  will  change,  and  it  would 
be  wrong  to  encourage  you  when  you  might  never  get 
a  different  answer,"  she  said  firmly,  though  her  face 
was  troubled. 

"Still  I  shall  hope,"  said  he,  "and  that  will  brighten 
life  for  me." 


"I  tell  you  plainly,"  she  said,  "that  I  do  not  love 
you,  and  if  you  hope  in  vain  you  have  only  yourself  to 
blame.  You  had  better  try  to  throw^  all  thought  of 
me  away." 

"Tell  me  to  pluck  out  my  heart  and  cast  it  from 
me.  It  will  be  as  easy  to  do  one  as  the  other.  No, 
Mabel,  this  love  has  come  to  stay  till  death  stills  every 
throb.  Once  is  always  with  me,  and  you  are  queen 
of  my  heart  now  and  forever." 

"I  am  more  sorry  than  I  can  tell,"  she  said,  "and  as 
this  is  painful  to  both,  let  us  end  it." 

"You  will  not  avoid  me?"  he  asked.  "Please  let 
our  friendship  go  on  as  it  was,  and  I  will  not  trouble 
you.  I  shall  be  gone  for  several  days,  and  when  I  re- 
turn give  me  a  welcome,  I  pray  you." 

"I  will  try  to  be  to  you  as  always,  and  please  give 
Mrs.  Rowland  no  thought  of  what  has  occurred," 
begged  Mabel. 

"One  word  more,"  he  said  as  she  rose.  "If  you  had 
never  loved  at  all  could  I  win  your  heart?" 

"No,  sir,"  she  replied  quietly. 

"You  are  cruel,"  he  said. 

"I  think  not,"  she  answered.  "Under  the  circum- 
stances I  can  do  nothing  else.  Good-night,  Colonel 

He  extended  his  hand  and  she  placed  hers  in  it. 

"Dear  little  hand,"  he  said;  "what  would  I  not 
give  to  own  it?     Let  me  have  it,  please,  Mabel." 

"Impossible,"  she  said. 

He  raised  it  to  his  mouth  and  kissed  it  softly,  then, 
sighing  deeply,  he  let  her  go. 



To  Mabel's  great  relief  Colonel  Chester  was  called 
away  to  attend  to  some  legal  business,  before  she  met 
him  again  after  his  declaration,  and  when  he  returned 
she  could  greet  him  with  perfect  composure.  He  was 
extremely  polite,  kind,  and  apparently  forgetful  of  all 
that  had  passed  between  them.  He  was  engaged  in  a 
hard  case,  requiring  all  his  skill.  Mrs.  Rowland  feared 
he  would  hurt  himself  in  his  anxiety  for  his  client. 

"Rudolf  is  so  true,"  she  said  to  Mabel.  "He  gets 
nothing  for  defending  that  poor  woman,  but  gives  his 
time  as  faithfully  as  if  he  were  to  receive  thousands. 
I  wish  you  could  see  him  when  he  is  roused.  He  is  a 
wonderfully  gifted  man  and  such  a  brilliant  speaker!" 

"I  judge  him  to  be  all  that,  and  do  not  wonder  you 
are  proud  of  him,"  answered  the  girl  very  quietly. 

"He  deserves  everything  I  feel,  and  I  do  wish  he 
had  a  good  wife  to  help  me  love  him.  I  know  he 
would  almost  worship  a  woman  if  he  ever  should  love, 
and  she  could  not  give  him  more  devotion  than  he 
merited,  but  I  am  afraid  he  will  always  live  as  he  is. 
My  poor  boys!  both  would  have  appreciated  happy 
homes,  and  yet  they  are  condemned  to  lonely  lives. 
Louis  shut  up  in  an  asylum,  and  Rudolf,  for  his  sake, 
losing  faith  in  womankind." 

Mabel  was  silent,  for  she  knew  who  was  condemn- 
ing Colonel  Chester  to  a  loveless  life,  and  was  so 
sorry,  but  not  an  emotion  of  love  stirred  her  heart. 
The  last  bit  of  antipathy  for  the  destroyer  of  her 
home  would  have  to  be  conquered  before  she  could 


feel  any  tenderness  for  him,  and  then  there  was  his 
infidehty  in  the  way.  So  time  passed  on,  and  the 
household  moved  on  quietly.  Oscar  Fielding  came 
back  from  a  European  trip  and  renewed  his  visits,  but 
only  as  a  friend  was  he  received. 

One  warm  day  in  early  spring,  as  Mabel  was  en- 
tering the  house,  she  met  Colonel  Chester  on  the 

"Miss  Gordon,"  he  said,  looking  closely  at  her,  "I 
fear  you  are  not  well.  Your  face  is  very  much  flushed. 
Are  you  sick?" 

"My  head  aches  and  I  am  very  warm.  I  will  soon 
be  well.  Please  don't  disturb  yourself  about  me,"  she 
answered  pleasantly. 

"\A^here  have  you  been?"  he  asked. 

"To  see  the  little  boy  who  brings  us  fruit.  He  is 
quite  sick  and  wanted  to  see  me.  I  have  been  twice 
to  see  him." 

"You  have  been  there !"  he  exclaimed.  "Didn't  you 
know  a  malignant  fever  was  raging  in  that  part  of 
the  city?     I  fear  you  have  it  now." 

"Then,"  she  said,  quietly,  "I  will  get  ready  to  go  to 
a  hospital  for  such  diseases." 

"While  I  have  a  home !  You  go  there !  Child,  are 
you  crazy?  Go  to  your  room  at  once,  while  I  myself 
go  for  our  physician." 

"Tell  Mrs.  Rowland  to  keep  away  from  me,"  she 
said,  "for  she  is  so  delicate  she  could  not  stand  an  at- 

"I  will  see  to  her,"  he  said.  "Now  go  and  try  to 
make  yourself  comfortable  till  the  doctor  comes,"  and 
away  he  went. 

He  found  Dr.  Warren  just  getting  into  his  car- 
riage, and  he  looked  his  surprise  as  the  lawyer  came 
up  in  haste. 

"What  is  wrong?"  he  asked. 

"Everything,"   was  the  reply.     "Miss  Gordon  has 


this  fever  now  so  prevalent,  and  I  am  fearfully  un- 
easy about  her.  Hurry  to  her,  doctor,  and  save  her  if 
you  can." 

The  good  ftian  looked  troubled. 

"Get  in  and  ride  with  me.  Tell  me  how  long  she 
has  been  ill,"  said  he. 

"She  is  just  taken,  and  already  I  am  nearly  dis-  ' 
tracted.     Doctor,   if  she  dies  count   Rudolf   Chester 
dead,  too,  for  my  life  is  bound  up  in  hers.     Save  her 
if  you  care  for  me,"  he  pleaded. 

"My  dear  boy,"  said  his  friend,  "the  issues  of  life 
and  death  do  not  rest  in  my  hands.  A  higher  Power 
must  decide,  yet  I  will  do  all  that  human  skill  can  do 
for  her.  She  is  young  and  strong-,  and  with  care  may 
recover.  But  I  am  amazed  to  know  you  love  any 
woman.  She  seems  to  be  a  good  girl,  and  if  you  can 
win  her  she  will  be  a  blessing  to  you." 

A  deep  sigh  was  his  answer,  which  the  doctor  in- 
terpreted as  fear  for  her  life. 

Colonel  Chester  left  his  friend  at  Mabel's  door,  then 
he  sought  Mrs.  Rowland  to  tell  her  of  Mabel's  danger 
and  suggested  her  leaving  the  house  till  she  was  safe. 

"I  won't  do  such  a  heartless  thing,"  indignantly  re- 
plied his  sister.  "Leave  here  while  Mabel  is  so  ill  and 
only  a  hired  nurse  to  care  for  her,  after  I  promised  her 
good  parents  to  treat  her  as  a  daughter.  Indeed,  I 
shall  stay  where  I  can  hear  from  her  every  hour.  I 
am  surprised  at  you,  brother." 

"I  was  only  thinking  of  the  danger  to  you  and  your 
inability  to  endure  such  an  attack,"  he  answered. 

"Well,  please  think  of  Mabel,  too,"  she  replied. 
"We  will  get  the  best  nurse  to  be  found,  but  I  must 
stay  here  near  m}?-  poor  child,  even  if  I  can't  be  allowed 
to  attend  her." 

Think  of  Mabel !  If  his  sister  could  have  known 
how  he  thought  of  her  she  would  have  been  amazed. 
Could  he  think  of  anything  else  while  she  was  suffer- 


ing?  Business  might  go  till  she  was  out  of  danger, 
and  whether  his  partner  attended  to  it  or  not,  he  could 
not  put  his  mind  upon  it  then.  He  waylaid  Dr.  War- 
ren every  time  he  left  her  to  ask  for  tidings  of  the 
sick  girl. 

"No  change  for  the  better  yet,  my  boy,  but  while 
there  is  life  we  will  hope.  She  is  in  good  hands. 
Don't  let  her  people  know  that  she  is  very  ill,  though 
you'd  better  inform  them  she  is  sick.  I  have  forbidden 
letter  writing  till  she  gets  stronger,  as  they  may  be 
uneasy  over  her  silence.  Poor  child,  it  is  pitiful  to 
hear  her  talk  of  home  and  loved  ones  there.  She  is 
living  her  childhood  days  again  in  her  delirium.  If 
vou  can  ever  win  her  heart  you'll  get  a  treasure,  my 

"If!"  Ah,  that  "if."  With  death  seemingly  de- 
termined to  snatch  her  from  them,  his  hopes  seemed 
vain,  and  then  if  she  lived,  what  was  there  in  him  to 
please  a  lovely  girl?  "Nothing,"  he  answered  him- 
self, and  yet  every  hope  was  fastened  to  her. 

-  In  the  midst  of  all  the  anxiety  about  the  sick  girl 
there  came  a  letter  from  her  father  commanding  her  to 
return  home  just  as  soon  as  she  could  do  so,  as  they 
were  in  sore  trouble. 

A  young  negro,  one  of  those  Mammy  called  "idlin' 
trash,"  had  insulted  Willie's  wife,  and  the  young  man, 
boiling  with  rage,  instantly  shot  the  negro,  who  died. 
Willie  had  been  arrested,  and,  owing  to  the  condition 
of  the  State,  his  parents  feared  the  trial,  which  was 
being  hurried  through,  would  go  against  him.  Nellie 
and  Mrs.  Gordon  were  almost  wild  with  grief,  and 
Mabel  was  needed  at  home. 

"What  are  we  to  do !"  exclaimed  Mrs.  Rowland. 

"Troubles  never  do  come  alone.  Brother,  you  must 
go  down  there  and  use  your  influence  in  the  boy's  be- 
half. I  can't  leave  here  now,  and  could  do  no  good 
by  going.    You  will  have  to  get  off  at  once,  too." 


His  heart  fairly  sickened.  Leave  while  she  was  so 
low,  and  he  might  never  see  her  again !  How  could 
he!     To  Dr.  Warren  he  went  with  the  new  worry. 

"You'll  have  to  go,  Rudolf,"  said  his  friend  after 
hearing  him.  "You  can't  really  do  any  more  here, 
save  to  help  sustain  your  sister,  who  seems  to  be  doing 
right  well,  and  don't  you  know  that  you  will  be  serv- 
ing Miss  Gordon  better  by  helping  her  brother?  She 
would  lay  down  her  life  for  her  loved  ones,  and  if  she 
could  know  she'd  tell  you  to  go.  I'll  take  all  possible 
care  of  your  darling." 

'T  must  see  her  before  I  leave,"  said  the  lover. 

"You  can  do  so,  but  prepare  yourself  to  be  shocked," 
warned  Dr.  Warren.  "I'll  send  the  nurse  out  for  an 
airing  so  there'll  be  no  gossiping  in  case  you  give  way. 
When  you  see  her  pass  the  door,  come  up." 

He  waited  impatiently  till  then,  and  immediately 
went  softly  up  to  the  sick  room.  Dr.  Warren  beck- 
oned him  in,  and  he  stole  noiselessly  to  the  bed,  draw- 
ing his  breath  hard  as  he  looked  at  her  and  noted  the 
ravages  of  the  fever.  They  had  cut  off  her  hair,  and  it 
rioted  in  little  curls  over  her  head.  Her  cheeks  were 
flushed,  and  eyes  unnaturally  bright,  and  the  slender 
hands  moved  restlessly  about  the  bed. 

"She  is  practicing  her  music  lessons,"  explained  the 
doctor.  "It  seems  she  is  very  anxious  to  perfect  her- 
self, and  please  a  dear  friend.  Sometimes  she  says 
she's  tired,  and  tells  'Viney'  they  will  sit  down  and 
rest  a  while,  and  again  she  comforts  'Mammy,'  telling 
her  not  to  grieve  over  their  losses — that  she  will  suc- 
ceed in  finishing  her  education  anyhow,  and  the  labor 
will  make  her  success  sweeter." 

Colonel  Chester  groaned. 

"Might  I  take  her  hand  ?"  he  asked. 

Dr.  Warren  shook  his  head. 

"Look  at  her,"  he  said,  "but  don't  touch  her,  and 


at  your  peril  don't  kiss  her.  You  might  take  this 

"I  would  die  for  her,"  declared  the  lover, 

"She  needs  your  life  more  now,  and  you  can  do 
more  good  by  living,"  said  the  doctor.  "Go  down 
South  and  save  that  precious  brother  if  you  can.  'Twill 
help  your  case  to  try,  even  if  you  fail." 

As  though  to  stamp  her  face  forever  on  his  mem- 
ory, he  stood  with  his  gaze  riveted;  then  he  stooped 
and  whispered,  "Mabel,  give  me  some  sign  that  you 
know  I  am  near." 

A  long-drawn  breath,  and  she  murmured,  "Allan." 

Colonel  Chester  almost  reeled. 

"Mabel,"  he  breathed  again,  "it  is  I,  your  lover,  Ru- 
dolf, who  speaks  to  you." 

"Yes,  Allan,"  she  whispered,  "I  know.  Poor  Al- 
lan !    God  help  you  bear  it." 

His  face  paled,  but  again  he  bent  so  near  the  dainty 
ear  his  moustache  mingled  with  her  curls.  "Darling," 
he  breathed,  "only  call  my  name.     Say  'Rudolf.'  " 

"Rudolf,"  she  panted,  "no — Allan,  poor  Allan." 

Dr.  Warren  saw  him  turn  deadly  white,  and  he  laid 
his  hand  on  his  arm. 

"Hush !"  he  said ;  "she  can't  understand,  and  I  don't 
want  her  to  begin  about  him." 

"Who  is  he?"  asked  Colonel  Chester,  hoarsely. 

"Someone  of  whom  she  was  once  very  fond,"  re- 
plied his  friend.  "Don't  try  to  get  her  to  speak  to 
you.  I  want  her  to  sleep  if  she  can,  and  you  must  only 
be  still  and  watch  her." 

The  long  lashes  rested  on  her  cheek  and  her  bosom 
rose  and  fell  in  quiet  sleep  when  the  silent  watcher 
stole  away.  On  leaving.  Dr.  Warren  sought  him  for 
a  few  parting  words,  and  found  him  in  the  library,  his 
arms  stretched  upon  the  table  and  head  bowed  thereon. 
As  he  raised  his  face  upon  the  doctor's  entrance,  the 
old  man  was  touched  at  its  mute  misery. 


"Rudolf,"  he  said  gently,  "I  came  to  tell  you  she 
seems  to  be  resting  nicely.  I  know  you  were  shocked 
at  the  change  the  fever  has  made  in  her  looks,  but  she 
is  young  and  clear  grit  through  and  through,  and  she 
is  getting  every  attention.  I  am  doing  all  a  human 
being  can  do,  for  I  never  was  more  interested  in  a 
patient.  Your  darling  will  live,  boy.  Don't  grieve  in 
this  way.  You  can't  afford  it  at  any  time,  and  now 
you  need  all  your  strength.  I  think  she  will  live,  but 
if  she  should  die,  we  all  know  her  pure  spirit  will  be 
'forever  with  the  Lord.'  " 

A  deep  groan  was  the  only  answer,  and  the  old 
friend  would  have  given  much  to  have  been  able  to 
assure  him  of  a  happy  meeting  with  his  dear  one  in  a 
better  land,  but  not  one  ray  of  light  shone  o'er  the 
darkened  way  to  the  agonized  lover.  For  him  the  tomb 
shut  off  all  life.  He  knew  nothing  of  One  who  has 
declared,  "I  am  the  resurrection  and  the  life,"  and  who 
has  taken  from  death  its  sting,  and  the  grave  its  vic- 

Dr.  Warren  laid  his  hand  on  the  splendid  head  and 
said  softly : 

"I  would  help  you  bear  this  if  I  could,  lad ;  there  is 
only  One  I  know  of  that  can,  and  to  Him  I  commit 
you.  SJie  believes  in  Him.  She  puts  up  her  hands 
like  a  child  sometimes,  imagining  herself  at  her  moth- 
er's knee,  and  says  the  simple  child-prayer,  'Now  I  lay 
me  down  to  sleep.'  " 

The  old  man's  voice  was  too  husky  for  speech; 
Colonel  Chester's  head  sank  lower,  but  no  words  came, 
and,  believing  it  best  to  leave  him  alone,  his  friend 

Rudolf  had  to  crush  his  feelings  to  hide  what  he 
suffered  lest  his  sister  should  suspect  how  he  loved 
Mabel.  ]\Irs.  Rowland  gave  him  cheering  messages 
to  take  to  the  Gordons,  promised  to  keep  him  informed 


of  the  girl's  condition,  and  charged  him  to  be  very 
careful  of  himself  and  not  get  into  any  trouble. 

"Oh,  these  hot-headed  Southerners!"  she  exclaimed; 
"why  can't  they  have  more  patience?" 

"Do  you  suppose  any  man  who  is  anything  of  a 
man  would  let  his  wife  be  insulted?"  said  Colonel 
Chester  sternly. 

"No,  of  course  not,"  returned  his  sister;  "but  they 
are  too  ready  with  their  guns." 

"You  don't  know  the  circumstances  in  this  case," 
said  he.     "I  hope  we  can  succeed  in  saving  him." 

"  'Twill  simply  kill  Mabel  if  he  is  convicted,"  said 
the  lady.  "I  almost  hoDe  if  he  is  that  she  will  not  get 

"Augusta!"  he  cried;  "have  you  no  mercy?" 

"Yes,  brother,"  she  answered,  surprised  at  his  tone 
and  manner.     "Why  do  you  speak  to  me  so  ?" 

"Don't  you  think,"  he  said,  remembering  himself, 
"to  lose  one  child  is  trouble  enough  for  those  parents  ?" 

"More  than  I  want  them  to  have,"  she  replied.  "I 
shall  write  to  them  my  sympathy." 

Trouble  enough  for  the  parents !  He  was  right ; 
but  when  he  cried  out  as  he  did  'twas  his  own  sor- 
row he  felt,  and  wdiile  he  watched  the  proceedings  of 
the  case  'tw^as  with  a  heart  torn  with  anxiety,  and  he 
almost  feared  to  open  a  letter  or  receive  a  telegram. 
For  Mabel's  sake  alone  he  went  to  the  rescue  of  her 
brother,  but  when  he  knew  all  then  w'ith  might  and 
main  he  worked  for  the  young  man's  life. 

Owing  to  the  excited  state  of  feeling,  the  trial  was 
held  in  a  town  some  distance  from  the  place  of  the 
tragedy.  Colonel  Chester  saw  only  the  father  and 
son,  and  he  soon  learned  what  the  old  man's  feelings 
were,  though  when  he  saw  the  deep  interest  mani- 
fested by  the  lawyer  he  was  extremely  courteous, 
while  his  wrath  at  the  judge's  conduct  knew  no  bounds. 

"I'll  tell  you  what  kind  of  a  man  he  is,  sir,"  he 


said,  with  flashing  eyes.  "When  I  was  laboring  day 
and  night  to  prevent  the  war,  for  I  saw  where  it  would 
end,  he  was  doing  all  in  his  power  to  hasten  the  con- 
flict. I  said,  sir,  and  I  was  honest,  too,  that  I  would 
free  every  slave  I  owned  and  lie  in  prison  the  remainder 
of  my  life  to  keep  our  country  from  being  plunged  into 
such  dreadful  sorrow.  I  worked  as  long  as  a  man 
could,  but  he  and  his  kind  triumphed,  and  then,  when 
our  cause  failed — for  when  my  State  left  the  Union  I 
went  with  it — he  turned,  like  the  traitor  he  is,  and  to 
curry  favor  with  those  in  power  would  put  the  neck  of 
every  decent  Southerner  under  the  negro's  foot.  I 
have  always  been  a  friend  to  the  negro — my  old  slaves 
will  tell  you  that — but,  sir,  I  tell  you  as  long  as  Holy 
Writ  endures  you  cannot  put  the  negro  above  his  mas- 
ter.    Infinite  wisdom  decreed  otherwise." 

"I  assure  you,"  said  Colonel  Chester,  "that  I  have 
no  desire  to  put  him  above  his  master,  and  I  am  dis- 
gusted with  that  judge.  Still,  for  your  son's  sake,  I 
would  counsel  you  to  be  careful  how  you  express  your- 
self.   It  will  be  all  we  can  do  to  save  him." 

"And  that  means  the  death  of  my  wife,  and  the 
end  of  every  earthly  hope  to  me,"  responded  Mr.  Gor- 

Colonel  Chester  wanted  to  say,  "I,  too,  would  lose 
my  all,"  for  he  knew  Mabel  would  sink  under  such 
sorrow  coming  when  her  strength  was  exhausted. 

The  judge  was  amazed  to  see  a  man  of  such  pres- 
ence, coming  from  where  he  did,  evincing  such  inter- 
est in  the  case.  He  knew  the  Gordons  were  limited  in 
means  and  could  not  possibly  pay  a  high-priced  law- 
yer from  a  distance.  Something  like  it  was  hinted  to 
Colonel  Chester,  and  he  said : 

"I  know  we  have  the  name  of  being  so  anxious  to 
amass  wealth  that  we  lose  sight  of  everything  else,  but 
I  am  glad  to  tell  you  there  are  Northerners  who  rise 
above  mercenary  considerations,  and  that  my  profes- 


sion  has  in  it  men  who  lose  sight  of  monetary  reward. 
I  want  to  see  that  boy  cleared.  Any  man  in  his  place 
would  have  done  as  he  did.  I  also  would  have  dealt 
in  the  same  manner  with  a  scoundrel  who  dared  to 
insult  my  wife  or  sister,  or  any  lady  in  my  care." 

"You  are  the  right  sort,  mister,"  said  a  man  near 
him.  "Just  send  a  few  more  like  you  down  here,  and 
we  won't  have  to  'regulate'  things  like  we  do,  but  just 
as  long  as  we  are  subjected  to  what  we  are,  and  the 
negroes  encouraged  in  lawlessness,  it's  no  use  talkin', 
we  are  goin'  to  help  ourselves  somehow." 

"It  is  a  terrible  state  of  affairs,"  said  Colonel  Ches- 
ter gravely,  "and  I  regret  that  any  part  of  this  coun- 
try should  be  in  such  a  condition." 

"Well,"  replied  the  other,  "we  can  manage  it  if  we 
are  let  alone.  We  understand  the  situation  and  the 
negro  better  than  those  who  have  never  lived  here 
possibly  can.  I  don't  hate  the  negroes — why,  I  feed 
the  trifling  things  when  they  don't  work  as  they  should 
rather  than  let  them  suffer,  and  I'd  fight  for  those  that 
are  faithful  to  us !" 

"If  Mr.  Lincoln  had  lived  we  would  not  be  in  this 
torn-up  condition,"  put  in  another. 

"Do  you  really  believe  that?"  asked  the  lawyer, 

"Why,  yes,"  responded  the  man,  "I  didn't  agree 
with  him  in  everything,  for  I  believed  then,  and  think 
3^et,  we  had  a  right  to  secede,  but  he  was  a  wise  man 
and  a  safe  one,  and  'twas  a  bad  thing  for  us  when  he 
died.  We  had  no  hand  in  that,  and  didn't  approve  it, 
and  I  think  it  is  a  little  hard  that  we  should  be  treated 
as  though  we  did." 

"It's  a  pity,"  said  Colonel  Chester,  "that  the  two 
sections  couldn't  understand  each  other  better.  Good 
feeling  might  thereby  be  restored." 

"I'm  glad  you  have  found  us  to  be  other  than  a  set 
of  desperadoes,"  answered  the  man,  "and  we  to  have 


met  a  genuine  Yankee  gentleman.  The  kind  we've 
dealt  with  much  of  the  time  haven't  impressed  us  fa- 
vorably. There'll  not  be  much  Union  as  long  as  they 
hold  rule  over  us,  and  interfere  as  they  do  in  matters 
they  don't  understand.  It  would  be  better  to  win  the 
hearts  of  the  people  than  to  have  all  the  most  promi- 
nent citizens  with  ropes  about  their  necks." 

"I  agree  with  you,"  said  the  lawyer.  "I  fought 
to  preserve  the  Union,  for  I  gelieved  'twas  right, 
but  I  do  not  approve  harsh  measures  with  a  con- 
quered people,  especially  people  who  showed  them- 
selves as  brave  and  faithful  as  these,  and  I  feel  as 
thorough  contempt  for  the  class  you  speak  of  as  you 
possibly  can." 

"Give  me  your  hand!"  exclaimed  the  other,  "and  if 
you  ever  run  for  an  office  count  on  my  vote." 

Colonel  Chester  shook  the  extended  hand  cordially 
and  the  two  walked  off  together  into  the  court  room. 

The  long  suspense  was  over  at  last  and  young  Gor- 
don was  acquitted,  to  the  great  joy  of  all  his  friends. 
The  old  father's  Spartan  spirit  gave  way  when  the 
agony  was  over,  and  he  wept  like  a  child  in  his  hap- 

"Go  with  us  to  our  home,"  he  said  to  Colonel  Ches- 
ter, "and  let  this  boy's  mother  and  wife  thank  you  for 
all  you  have  done  for  us.  I  can't  begin  to  tell  you 
what  a  comfort  you  have  been  in  our  distress." 

But  Colonel  Chester  had  to  decline,  pleading  busi- 
ness, and  telling  him,  too,  of  Mabel's  illness,  which  he 
had  not  done  while  the  dreadful  strain  was  on  the 

"She  is  doing  well,  so  they  write  me,"  he  contin- 
ued, "and  unless  you  insist  upon  her  coming  home  we 
will  keep  her  longer.  My  sister  depends  on  her  so  en- 
tirely she  would  be  lost  without  her.  Suppose  you 
and  Mrs.  Gordon  come  to  see  her?" 

"We  can't  well  do  that,  thank  you,"  returned  Mr. 


Gordon.  "Nellie's  health  isn't  good,  and  my  wife 
would  not  leave  her.  Tell  Mabel  all  about  this  affair, 
and  also  tell  her  she  can  stay  longer  with  your  sister 
if  she  wishes." 

So  bidding  them  a  hearty  good-bye,  the  impatient 
lover  started  homeward,  after  what  seemed  an  age  to 
him  in  his  anxiety,  and  thinking  what  a  desolate  home 
he  would  be  approaching  if  the  precious  life  had  gone 

130  MABEL    GORDON. 


Mrs.  Rowland  met  him  joyously  and  with  the  good 
news  of  Mabel's  improvement. 

"The  fever  is  entirely  gone,"  she  said,  "but  she  is 
very  weak ;  a  breath  would  almost  blow  her  away  and 
we  have  to  be  exceedingly  careful  not  to  let  anything 
trouble  her.  I  am  so  glad  her  brother  was  acquitted 
and  that  you  helped  as  you  did.  The  papers  said  but 
for  your  efforts  he  might  have  been  convicted,  and 
spoke  in  glowing  terms  of  your  eloquence." 

"Nonsense,"  he  replied;  "I  didn't  come  up  to  some 
of  his  counsel,  though  I  did  work  hard,  and  my  heart 
was  in  it,  for  you  know,  sister,  that  act  of  vandalism 
hangs  heavy  on  my  heart,  and  I  was  glad  to  do  some- 
thing by  way  of  reparation." 

"Your  looks  tell  you  have  worked,"  said  the  lady, 
"and  you  must  rest." 

He  was  willing  she  should  think  his  labors  caused 
his  worn  appearance,  but  in  truth  what  wrought  the 
change  was  the  worry  about  Mabel. 

"I  must  see  her,"  he  said  to  the  doctor;  "I  have 
earned  the  right,  and  I'll  be  so  quiet  she  sha'n't  be  dis- 

"Not  yet,"  replied  the  good  doctor.  "Heartily  as  I 
sympathize,  I  can't  let  you  in  her  room  till  she  is 
stronger.  She  is  conscious  now,  and  would  be  wor- 

"Let  me  come  to  the  door  when  she  is  asleep,"  he 
begged.    "Just  let  me  see  her," 

"My!  my!"  said  the  doctor;  "love  is  like  the  measles 


— the  later  in  life  one  is  attacked  the  harder  it  goes, 
and  you've  got  a  bad  case.  Well,  slip  up  when  the 
nurse  goes  out,  and  I'll  let  you  peep  at  my  dear  lit- 
tle girl." 

When  she  was  first  taken  sick  Dr.  Warren  had  her 
put  in  a  remote  room  till  the  fever  was  over;  then, 
when  consciousness  returned,  they  lifted  her  on  a 
strong  sheet  back  to  her  own  dainty  apartment,  and 
when  Colonel  Chester  stood  at  the  door  he  felt  that  it 
was  sacrilege  for  anyone  save  its  owner  to  enter  there. 

Wan,  wasted,  and  white  as  the  coverlet,  she  lay  on 
the  bed,  scarcely  breathing,  he  thought,  and  so  like 
the  dead  he  caught  his  breath  and  looked  imploringly 
at  his  old  friend,  who  smiled  and  nodded  reassuringly, 
then  sent  him  away  lest  she  might  waken  under  the 
intense  longing  of  his  look.  And  he  had  to  be  con- 
tent and  try  to  possess  himself  patiently,  till,  some  time 
after  his  return,  he  was  told  that  Mabel  wanted  to  see 

She  was  able  to  sit  up  in  a  big  chair  that  almost 
swallowed  the  slender  form.  Her  negligee  robe  of 
delicate  blue,  with  its  falls  of  creamy  lace,  brought  out 
the  transparent  fairness  of  her  skin,  and  the  boyishly 
short  hair,  tumbling  in  rebellious  curls  about  her  head, 
with  eyes  deepened  and  softened  by  illness,  made  her 
so  perfectly  lovely  to  him  that  it  was  with  difficulty  he 
kept  from  taking  her  in  his  arms  and  telling  her  she 
should  be  his.  Instead  of  that  he  held  her  hand  ten- 
derly, while  he  expressed  his  pleasure  at  seeing  her 
once  more,  and  so  near  well. 

"We  have  missed  you  sadly,"  he  said;  "the  whole 
house  was  full  of  gloom  during  your  illness." 

"Ah,  yes,"  she  said,  "I  have  been  a  great  care  to 
all,  and  everyone  has  been  so  good  to  me  I  can  never 
repay  them.  I  fear  Mrs.  Rowland  will  be  ill  in  con- 
sequence ;  she  does  so  much  for  me.  And  you !  What 
can  I  say  to  you  for  all  you  did  ?" 


"I  ?"  he  said.  "Why,  they  wouldn't  let  me  do  any- 

"I  know  what  you  did,"  she  said,  tears  filling  her 
eyes.  "Mother  wrote  of  your  kindness  to  our  boy,  and 
so  to  us  all.  Had  he  been  convicted  it  would  have 
killed  her  and  me,  too.  You  saved  three  lives  then — 
even  more,  for  Nellie  could  not  have  stood  it.  You 
certainly  saved  mine." 

"My  life,  Mabel,"  he  said,  smiling.  "Child,  have 
you  forgotten  I  told  you  my  existence  was  bound  up 
in  yours?  Some  time  you  will  understand  how  dear 
you  are  to  me." 

"You  were  so  kind,"  she  said,  "we  can  never  repay 

"I  know  of  a  way,"  said  he,  "that  will  put  me  in 
debt.  It  may  not  be  right  to  ask  you  now,  but,  dearest, 
I  want  your  love  so  much.  Will  you  give  it  me, 

"Don't  ask  me  that,"  she  said.     "I  cannot." 

"Very  well,"  he  said,  "I  can  wait,  and  as  long  as 
no  one  claims  you  I  will  hope." 

Then  remembering  her  muttered  words  when  de- 
lirious, he  asked : 

"Mabel,  who  is  before  me?  Have  you  never  loved 
anyone  ?" 

The  fair  face  lacked  no  color  then,  and  she  hesi- 
tated for  a  few  moments  before  replying : 

"Yes,  I  have  been  very  fond  of  someone,  but  that 
was  laid  aside  forever,  for  there  was  sin  in  it,  and 
'twas  hopeless." 

"Sin,"  he  repeated;  "you  commit  sin?  Child,  what 
do  you  mean?" 

"If  you  please,"  she  said  with  a  quiet  dignity  that 
silenced  him,  "we  will  not  discuss  that.  Let  it  suf- 
fice you  to  know  that  as  soon  as  I  knew  there  was 
wrong  in  it  I  put  away  all  thought  of  him,  and  not  in 


my  own  strength  was  it  done;  I  had  to  implore  divine 
assistance.     You  have  no  rival  in  any  former  lover." 

"Then,"  he  ventured  to  ask,  "what  is  the  reason  I 
can't  win  you?" 

"You  will  have  to  believe  that  my  reasons  are 
good,"  she  answered,  "and  very  powerful,  else  how 
could  I  refuse  one  who  has  done  for  us  what  you 
have?  And  father  bids  me  tell  you  that  he  hopes 
som.e  time  to  be  able  to  pay " 

"Never  speak  of  payment  between  us,"  he  com- 
manded, "unless  you  wish  to  pain  me  beyond  my 
strength  to  bear.  Are  we  not  constantly  his  debtors 
because  of  his  daughter  here?  What  would  this  house 
be  without  you  in  it?" 

"You  are  very  kind,"  she  said,  "and  most  gener- 

"Can't  you  add  to  that  sweet  praise  by  saying,  'and 
dear'  ?"  he  asked,  smiling. 

"Impossible,"  she  said. 

"Well,  I'll  wait,"  he  answered,  and  he  did  so  pa- 
tiently, surrounding  her  with  an  atmosphere  of  tender 
thoughtfulness  that  caused  his  sister  to  hope  he  had 
at  last  found  someone  he  could  trust  and  love,  but 
when  she  hinted  as  much  to  him  he  only  replied,  "that 
a  man  would  have  to  be  made  of  stone  not  to  feel  for 
her  after  all  she'd  suffered." 

Mabel's  room  was  a  bower  of  beauty  with  the  flow- 
ers he  ordered  daily  for  her.  Everything  he  thought 
could  tempt  her  appetite  he  quietly  provided,  and  when 
at  the  physician's  order  Mrs.  Rowland  took  her  to  the 
seashore  to  complete  her  recovery  he  went  with  them 
to  see  that  the  dear  invalid  wanted  for  nothing.  Young 
Fielding  hovered  near,  and  it  was  natural  she  should 
enjoy  the  young  fellow's  attentions,  and  if  he  should 
succeed  in  winning  the  prize,  why,  if  she  was  happier, 
he  could  bury  his  sweet  hopes  and  take  up  the  burden 
of  life  alone.    When  he  saw  her  treating  all  alike,  and 


seemingly  equally  pleased  with  the  different  ones,  he 
said  to  her : 

"Are  you,  with  all  your  piety,  developing  into  a  co- 
quette? If  you  prove  other  than  I  believe  you  to  be, 
Mabel,  what  am  I  to  think?  Do  you  know,  child,  you 
had  redeemed  your  sex  with  me?  Because  of  your 
sincerity  I  could  once  more  believe  in  another  woman 
beside  my  sister,  and  I  beg  you  not  to  destroy  my 
faith.  If  you  can't  love  me  you  are  not  to  blame,  but 
there  is  no  need  to  pain  me  even  more  or  of  making 
others  suffer." 

"You  wrong  me,"  she  replied.  "I  take  no  pleasure 
in  hurting  anyone;  especially  does  it  grieve  me  to  pain 

"And  you  say  my  case  is  hopeless?"  he  said,  smil- 
ing down  at  her.  "We  shall  see  about  that,  little 

And  so  he  waited. 

It  chanced  one  day  that  JMabel  was  out  with  -Mr. 
Fielding,  the  two  chatting  merrily,  not  knowing  that 
Colonel  Chester  was  walking  a  little  distance  behind 
them,  when  suddenly  they  heard  a  wild  cry  and  saw 
people  running  as  for  their  lives. 

"What  is  it?"  asked  the  girl,  and  then  the  cry 
reached  her,  "Mad  dog!"  and  a  policeman  came  rush- 
ing after  the  animal. 

Fielding  gave  one  horrified  look  and  fled,  just  as 
the  dog,  escaping  the  policeman's  club,  rushed  toward 
Mabel,  who  stood  motionless  from  fright. 

Just  as  she  thought  surely  death  was  at  hand  a  tall 
form  bounded  by  and  a  man  caught  the  brute  by  the 
collar  as  he  fastened  his  teeth  in  her  dress,  and  tore 
him  loose.  The  dog  turned  and  snatched  a  piece  out 
of  the  man's  sleeve  before  the  panting  policeman  could 
end  the  struggle.  Then  Colonel  Chester  turned  to 
Mabel  and  asked: 

"Are  you  hurt?" 

'MABEL    GORDON  135 

"No,"  she  answered,  all  a-tremble;  "but  you  are." 

"The  brute  only  tore  my  sleeve,"  he  said ;  "my  hands 
were  protected  by  gloves.  He  didn't  touch  my  flesh. 
You  are  badly  frightened  and  trembling  so  you  can't 

He  hailed  a  passing  carriage,  and,  helpmg  her  in, 
followed,  and,  seating  himself,  drew  off  his  glove. 

"See,"  he  said,  "I  escaped  without  a  scratch.  I 
shudder  to  think  what  would  have  been  your  fate  had 
not  someone  helped  you." 

"And  again,"  said  she,  "you  have  saved  my  life." 

"My  life,"  he  said.  "Ah,  child,  for  me  life  would 
be  over  had  you  been  injured !  Will  you  never  know 
how  dear  you  are  to  me?" 

Suddenly  she  bent  and  kissed  his  hand. 

"Can't  you  do  more,"  he  asked  softly. 

She  shook  her  head,  and  he  said : 

"Well,  dear,  I  can  wait.  I'm  not  so  old  that  I  can't 
afford  a  few  years  in  waiting  for  one  whom  I  love  so 
dearly.  Why  do  you  guard  your  heart  so  carefully 
against  me?" 

She  made  no  answer,  and  he  hushed. 

To  j\Irs.  Rowland  he  conducted  ]\Iabel.  saying: 

"Augusta,  it  is  not  safe  to  let  this  girl  get  out  of 
our  sight  a  moment." 

"What  has  happened  now?"  inquired  the  lady. 

"Why,  Miss  Gordon  was  attacked  by  a  mad  dog, 
and  her  gallant  admirer  fled,  leaving  her  to  her  fate. 
I  chanced  to  be  near  enough  to  rescue  her,"  explained 
Colonel  Chester, 

"Mabel,  my  child!"  cried  Mrs.  Rowland,  "what 
shall  we  do  with  you?" 

"Send  me  home,  dear  friend,"  replied  the  girl;  "I 
am  more  trouble  than  pleasure  to  you." 

"Have  you  room  for  me  there?"  asked  Chester,  as 
they  w^alked  away  to  their  respective  apartments  to 


make  the  necessary  changes  in  their  dress.  "I  shall 
certainly  follow  if  you  go." 

She  didn't  want  him  there ;  she  never  wanted  to,  see 
him  in  the  humble  cottage  his  cruelty  had  put  them  in, 
lest  she  should  hate  him. 

Mrs.  Rowland  declared  Mabel  should  not  get  out  of 
her  sight  any  more,  and  was  loud  in  her  thanks  that 
no  harm  had  been  done  to  either  of  her  loved  ones. 

Fielding  called  a  few  days  later  to  ask  how  she 
stood  the  shock,  but  met  such  a  cool  reception  he  wisely 
concluded  to  discontinue  his  attentions,  and  went  away, 
for  on  all  sides  he  was  taunted  with  his  cowardly  flight. 

As  Mabel  seemed  to  be  fully  well,  Mrs.  Rowland 
went  back  to  her  home,  much  to  her  brother's  pleasure. 

Then  her  old  friend  Allan  came,  and  as  he  was  a 
part  of  her  old  home  life,  Mabel  welcomed  him.  She 
had  heard,  too,  of  his  tenderness  to  his  frail  wife,  and 
so  thought  better  of  him. 

"I  am  so  glad  you  seem  happy,"  she  said. 

"I  am  trying  to  do  my  duty,"  said  he,  "and  that 
brings  a  degree  of  peace.  In  ministering  to  Lucile  I 
feel  that  I  am  doing  what  you  would  approve.  Be- 
sides, you  remember  you  promised  to  pray  for  me,  and 
that  comforted  me.  I  said  that  I  had  found  peace,  but 
the  fullness  of  life  is  over  for  me." 

"Say  not  so,"  she  answered.  "Life  may  hold  much 
of  joy  for  you  yet,  and  if  it  should  be  that  more  of 
sorrow  than  happiness  falls  to  you,  remember  the  life 
beyond,  and,  dear  friend,  so  live  that  it  may  make 
amends  for  all  suffering,  whether  it  comes  through 
yourself  or  someone  else." 

"Little  snow-maiden,"  he  said,  "ah,  if  you  were  a 
man's  wife,  what  might  he  not  become !  Mabel,  are 
you  going  to  give  Chester  your  love?  I  think  he 
cares  a  great  deal  for  you,  and  he  is  a  splendid  man — 
the  kind  I  fancy  you  would  like." 


"I  do  not  love  him  now,"  she  said,  "whatever  change 
may  take  place  in  my  feeHngs." 

"Happy  man,  if  you  should  ever  change!  One 
might  wait  long  to  be  rewarded  by  your  love.  You 
have  developed  into  a  superb  woman,  little  Mab." 

"You  say  too  much,"  she  said,  "and  make  me  feel 
all  I  lack,  but  I  thank  you  for  what  you  did  toward 
helping  me  to  study.  But  for  you  I  should  not  have 
worked  as  hard  as  I  did  to  finish  my  education.  Do 
you  remember?" 

"Can  I  forget  anything  connected  with  that  part  of 
my  youth?"  he  asked.  "Some  of  the  purest,  dearest 
memories  of  my  life  cluster  around  those  days,  and  I 
would  give  what  I  am  worth  to  call  them  back." 

"Rather  ask  for  strength  to  face  the  years  to  come, 
than  waste  time  in  sighing  for  years  agone,"  she  re- 

"You  are  right,"  he  said ;  "and,  dear  little  sister,  help 
me  to  rise  above  all  vain  regrets,  won't  you?" 

"Gladly,"  she  said;  "if  my  friendship  can  aid  you 
in  any  way  you  have  it." 

As  he  rose  to  go  and  held  her  hand,  he  said : 

'"'I  feel  strengthened  and  encouraged,  little  Mab. 
Mother  Gordon  was  doing  a  good  .work  for  mankind 
when  she  raised  this  earnest,  true-hearted  girl  of  hers. 
It  is  a  pity  there  are  not  more  such  mothers  in  the 
world,  for  we  need  sorely  more  sincerely  good  women. 
If  you  were  other  than  you  are  it  would  surprise  me, 
knowing  that  good  mother  of  yours  as  I  do." 

The  tribute  to  her  mother  touched  Mabel,  and  the 
tears  rose  to  her  eyes  as  she  replied : 

"I  thank  you,  and  I  realize  fully  that  I  owe  all  I  am 
to  my  mother,  though  my  father  must  come  in  for  a 
share,  for  he  is  a  noble  man,  albeit  his  feelings  are  so 

"He  didn't  like  me  as  well  as  the  mother  did," 
laughed  Allan,  "and,  you  know,  we  are  all  more  or 


less  Pharisaical,  and  will  love  those  who  like  us;  but 
I  certainly  respected  the  old  gentleman  highly.  He 
always  looked  at  me  as  though  he  held  me  responsible 
for  all  his  troubles,  and  it  did  make  me  feel  kind  o' 

"Poor  father,"  she  sighed,  and  she  thought  of  what 
she  had  suffered  because  of  Allan,  and  that  if  he  had 
known  of  it  the  young  man  might  well  have  felt 
guilty,  for  with  the  feelings  Mr.  Gordon  held  nothing 
could  have  stayed  his  wrath. 

Harvey  saw  the  cloud  on  her  face  and  hastened  to 
dispel  it. 

"Forgive  me,"  he  said,  "for  mentioning  aught  un- 
pleasant to  you.  Look  at  me  as  you  did  before  and  tell 
me  'good-bye'  with  a  smile." 

"Good-bye,"  she  said,  "and  may  heaven's  choicest 
blessings  go  with  you,  and  strength  for  every  trial  be 

"And  may  I  say,  or  will  it  sound  like  mockery  from 
me?  God  bless  you,  sweetest  friend,  and  keep  you 
from  all  sorrow." 

"If  you  ever  ask  any  blessing  for  me,"  she  said,  "let 
it  be  a  prayer  for  strength  that  I  may  be  able  to  bear 
any  sorrow  that  may  come." 

"To  look  at  you  now,"  he  said,  "one  would  not 
suppose  trouble  could  reach  you  or  that  you  ever  knew 
aught  of  sorrow." 

"Every  heart  knoweth  Its  own  bitterness,"  she 
said,  "and  mine  is  no  exception." 

His  face  reddened  and  he  gave  her  an  imploring 

"There  is  no  bitterness  in  mine  now,"  she  said  gen- 
tly;  "I  am  at  peace." 

Another  lingering  "good-bye,"  and  he  left,  but  she 
was  terribly  homesick  for  some  time,  though  she 
bravely  kept  it  from  her  friends. 

Colonel  Chester  knew  nothing  of  his  visit,  and  she 
did  not  mention  it  to  him. 




'Augusta,"  said  Colonel  Chester  to  his  sister  one 
day,  "the  physician  in  charge  at  the  asylum  tells  me  he 
thinks  we  might  take  Lonis  home — that  he  is  suffi- 
ciently recovered  to  keep  him  in  perfect  safety.  Shall 
I  bring  him  here?" 

"By  all  means,  if  you  think  him  safe.  It  may  aid  in 
regaining  his  health.  Mabel,  you  have  no  fear  of  our 
poor  boy,  have  you?"  asked  Mrs.  Rowland. 

"Certainly  not,  if  you  and  Colonel  Chester  think 
liim  safe,"  answered  the  girl. 

"Then  it  is  settled,  and  I  will  bring  him  soon,"  the 
gentleman  said,  and  to  Mabel,  when  alone,  he  contin- 
ued, "If  you  can't  care  for  me,  perhaps  you  will  for 

"Hardly,"  she  said. 

"Can't  you  tell  me  yet  what  I  am  longing  to  hear  ?" 
he  asked. 

"No,  sir,"  she  said,  "and  I  wish  you  would  not  make 
me  say  it  so  often,  for  I  hate  to  hurt  you." 

"Very  well,  I'll  hush  now,  but  whenever  you  feel 
that  you  can  tell  me,  will  you  come  to  me  and  say,  'Ru- 
dolf, it  has  come  at  last,  and  I  am  yours.  I  love  you !' 
Will  you  tell  me  so  when  it  does  come,  Mabel?" 

"You  speak  assuredly,"  she  said.  "How  do  you 
know  I  will  ever  feel  that?" 

"I  know  it  because  it  will  be  impossible  for  a  woman 
to  hold  out  against  such  love  as  I  give  you.  It  must 
overcome  every  obstacle  between  us,  real  or  imagin- 


"What  if  you  change  before  I  am  ready  to  say  what 
you  declare  I  will  ?" 

"There  is  no  possibility  of  that,"  he  said.  "I  will 
be  awaiting  you  if  years  elapse  before  you  can  say 
what  I  long  to  hear." 

"I  wish  it  was  so  I  could  love  you,"  she  said;  "but 
I  cannot." 

"Never  mind,"  he  s^id,  smiling  tenderly;  "you  will 
some  day.  I  can  wait,  and  the  joy  of  that  time  will 
compensate  for  all." 

He  turned  off  then,  and  she  watched  him  walk  away 
— a  man  any  woman  might  be  proud  to  win.  Numbers 
of  fair  women  would  gladly  listen  to  his  suit,  and  yet 
she  had  to  refuse  him.  If  it  were  not  for  the  way  he 
treated  his  Creator's  claims  upon  him,  and  that  ter- 
rible recollection  of  her  childhood,  she  would  be  com- 
pelled to  yield  to  him. 

When  the  afflicted  brother  came,  Colonel  Chester's 
affectionate  kindness  to  him  called  forth  her  warm  ad- 
miration. Louis  seemed  fully  restored,  and  was  a 
pleasant  addition  to  the  home  circle.  Mabel  could 
charm  him  at  all  times.  Her  songs  soothed  him  and 
he  would  have  her  play  for  hours.  She  had  never 
pla3^ed  for  his  brother.  Once  he  came  in  while  she 
was  at  the  piano,  not  long  after  she  refused  to  ride 
with  him,  and  as  she  stopped,  he  said : 

"Go  on;  I  like  music." 

"I  can't  play  for  you."  she  returned. 

"Do  you  mean  you  will  not  because  it  is  I  who  ask  ?" 

"Yes,  sir,"  she  replied. 

"Miss  Gordon,"  said  he,  "are  you  trying  to  see  how 
rude  you  can  be?" 

"No,  sir,"  she  said,  "but  I  could  do  nothing  with 
this  instrument  while  you  listened." 

"Then  I  shall  never  ask  3^ou  again,  if  I  can  remem- 
ber," said  he,  and  he  kept  his  word;  but  sometimes 
when  she  entertained  Louis  he  would  quietly  enter 


and  sit  silently  there,  though  she  never  seemed  to  see 

Louis  had  been  home  some  time,  and  they  were  re- 
joicing at  his  recovered  health,  while  Mrs.  Rowland 
was  so  happy  with  her  boys,  as  she  called  the  two  stal- 
wart men,  and  Mabel  seemed  like  a  dear  young  sister 
to  both. 

One  afternoon  as  she  was  in  the  parlor  arranging 
some  drapery  Mrs.  Rowland  wished  her  to,  Louis  en- 
tered, closing  the  door  cautiously  after  him.  INIabel 
smiled  at  him  and  went  on  with  her  work,  but  there 
was  no  smile  on  his  face  as  he  went  close  to  her.  He 
looked  worried,  and  his  eyes  flashed  as  he  said  to  her : 

"I  have  come  to  tell  you  that  they  are  determined 
to  separate  us,  and,  Eleanor,  how  can  I  bear  life  with- 
out you?" 

She  understood  at  once  that  his  madness  had  re- 
turned, and  the  only  way  open  to  her  was  to  humor 
him,  so  she  said : 

"I  think  you  know  me  well  enough  to  believe  that  I 
will  be  true.     Calm  yourself." 

"I  cannot,"  he  said,  "when  I  see  all  my  hopes 
blasted,  for  you  will  marry  this  man  and  I  be  left 
wretched.  Eleanor,  I  will  not  bear  life  without  you. 
You  are  mine  alone — my  all,  and  to  me  you  shall  be- 
long. If  we  may  not  live  together,  dear,  we  can  at 
least  die." 

"No,"  she  said,  "let  us  live,  and  perhaps  fate  will 
be  kind.     We  may  yet  be  happy." 

"No;"  he  said,  "they  are  determined  to  take  you 
from  me,  and  I  am  prepared  for  death.  I  have  a  vial 
of  strong  poison  here,  which  we  w^ill  drink,  go  to 
sleep,  and  never  know  what  trouble  is  again.  You 
say  you  love  me,  Eleanor,  and  now  prove  your  love. 
Die  with  me,  sweetheart,  and  death  will  be  sweet  in- 


"Nay,  beloved,"  she  said,  "let  us  hope  for  a  brighter 
future;  do  not  die!" 

"You  are  false!"  he  cried.  "You  do  not  love  me! 
You  want  to  marry  that  old,  rich  lover.  His  money 
has  bought  you,  and  now  you  shall  die !" 

He  stood  between  her  and  the  door,  but  she  es- 
sayed flight.  The  madman  was  too  quick  for  her,  and 
as  she  sprang  by  him  he  flung  his  arm  around  her 
and  with  his  other  hand  tried  to  put  the  poison  to  her 
lips.  Closing  her  mouth  tightly,  she  struggled  to  gain 
possession  of  the  vial,  and  while  the  terrible  ordeal 
was  passing  she  heard  steps  in  the  hall,  and  one  wild 
cry  for  help  burst  from  her.  Instantly  the  door  flew 
open  and  Colonel  Chester  strode  into  the  room,  and, 
seeing  Mabel  in  his  brother's  arms,  he  rushed  forward, 
catching  the  hand  holding  the  poison. 

"Madman!"  he  cried,  "you  are  trying  to  kill  the 
woman  I  love.    She  is  not  yours." 

"Ah,  ha!  That  is  it!  That  is  the  reason  she  won't 
die  with  me !  Then  you  shall  die,  wretch  that  you  are, 
to  steal  her  from  me!"  shrieked  Louis. 

He  released  Mabel,  who  sank  to  the  floor  exliausted 
and  half  dead  with  fright,  then  sprang  upon  his 
brother.  Muscular  training  now  stood  Rudolf  in  good 
place,  for  Louis'  rage  made  him  stronger.  The  two 
men  struggled  as  for  life,  while  Mabel  lay  near  in  the 
first  swoon  of  her  existence.  The  madman  saw  her 
lying  as  if  dead. 

"You've  killed  her!"  he  screamed,  "Oh,  Eleanor, 
my  love,  I  will  avenge  your  death.  I  will  have  his 
life  for  this!" 

He  strained  every  muscle  to  get  Colonel  Chester  in 
his  power,  but  the  latter  adroitly  tripped  him  up,  and 
before  he  could  rise  was  kneeling  upon  him  and  shout- 
ing for  help.    It  came  in  the  person  of  John. 

"Bring  me  a  strong  rope,"  commanded  his  master, 


"and  get  the  carriage  ready.     I  must  take  my  brother 
to  the  asylum." 

Louis  was  still  panting  from  his  exertions,  and  he 
glared  at  liim. 

"Yes,"  he  said,  "take  me  there  so  that  you  can  win 
her;  but  she  shall  yet  be  mine." 

\\lien  the  frightened  ser,vant  brought  the  rope  he 
bound  him  fast,  Louis  shrieking: 

"Do  you  hear  me  ?  She  is  mine !  mine !  mine !  and  I 
wall  avenge  her  death !  O  Eleanor,  w^ake  up !  Speak 
to  me  before  they  take  me  aw^ay !  My  love !  my  life !" 
and  he  almost  broke  his  bonds  in  his  mad  efforts  to 
reach  the  girl. 

As  Colonel  Chester's  presence  only  increased  his 
rage,  the  former  bade  John  watch  the  poor  madman 
till  he  returned,  and  then,  stooping,  he  raised  Mabel 
in  his  arms  and  bore  her  to  another  room,  and,  laying 
her  gently  on  a  couch,  bathed  her  face  till  conscious- 
ness returned  to  her.  When  she  opened  her  eyes  and 
saw  his  anxious  face,  for  a  little  while  she  seemed 
dazed;  then  the  dreadful  ordeal  through  wdiich  she 
had  passed  flashed  through  her  mind  and  she  shud- 
dered as  she  said : 

"Oh,  it  w^as  horrible!  Thank  God,  you  came  when 
you  did,  for  you  saved  my  life." 

"You  forget,"  he  said,  smiling,  "it  is  my  life  I 
saved.  Ah,  Mabel,  if  Louis  had  killed  you  •!  should 
not  have  lived  long.  Stay  here  till  your  fright  is  over, 
and  try  not  to  think  of  the  terrible  scene.  I  shall  have 
to  go  to  the  asylum  with  my  poor  brother." 

"Are  you  hurt  at  all  ?"  she  asked. 

"No,"  said  he ;  "but  I  fear  the  strain  wall  injure  you, 
and  I  can't  bear  to  think  of  your  being  hurt  by  Louis. 
I  can  never  tell  how^  I  felt  when  you  wTre  struggling 
in  his  arms.  I  should  grieve  to  hurt  him,  but  I  w^ould 
strike  him  dead  to  save  you.  This  w^orld  holds  no 
charm  for  me  without  you.     But  forgive  me,  dear,  I 


do  not  mean  to  worry  you,  though  such  love  as  I  feel 
will  burst  its  bounds  sometimes,  and  you  are  doubly 
dear  since  I  came  so  near  losing  you.  Rest  now,  and 
I  will  hasten  back.    Shall  I  send  Augusta  to  you?" 

"Airs.  Rowland  is  not  at  home,"  she  said.  "She  gone  to  see  an  old  friend,  and  will  not  be  home  till 
late.  She  left  me  to  preside  at  dinner  and  to  amuse 
Mr.  Chester." 

"My  poor  brother!  He  will  not  dine  with  us  to- 
day." Then,  bending  over  her,  he  dropped  a  kiss  on 
her  brow,  and  before  she  could  recover  from  her  sur- 
prise at  his  act  he  was  gone.  She  heard  Louis'  oaths 
and  threats  of  vengeance  as  they  took  him  to  the  car- 
riage, and  the  thought  of  her  narrow  escape  from  death 
overcame  her.  Woman's  refuge,  tears,  gave  her  re- 
lief, and  falling  on  her  knees  she  rendered  heartfelt 
thanks  for  her  merciful  deliverance,  and  prayed,  too, 
for  the  noble  man  who  had  thrice  saved  her  life. 
When  she  became  composed  and  w^as  quietly  thinking, 
as  she  lay  upon  the  couch,  Colonel  Chester  came  in, 
and,  drawing  a  chair  close  to  the  lounge,  took  her 
hand  in  his,  gravely  feeling  her  pulse. 

"Well,  doctor,"  she  said,  smiling,  "are  you  satis- 
fied with  my  condition  ?" 

"You  are  not  as  nervous  as  I  feared,"  he  said,  "but 
you  have  had  a  severe  shock,  and  I  am  uneasy  about 

"How^  did  your  brother  act  when  he  was  taken  back 
to  his  sad  life?"  she  asked. 

"He  won't  say  a  word.  Do  you  know  whether  or 
not  he  was  sick  before  his  attack?" 

"He  complained  of  his  head,  and  said  he  would  take 
a  ride  and  try  fresh  air.  When  he  returned  he  sought 
me,  thought  I  was  Eleanor,  and  that  they  w^ere  try- 
ing to  separate  us,  and  before  he  would  lose  his  love 
in  life  he  would  rather  both  should  die.  I  am  so 
grieved  over  his  relapse!" 


"Poor  fellow !  I  fear  his  life  will  end  in  gloom.  How 
can  that  woman  rest  when  she  knows  she  helped  to 
ruin  such  a  fiiie  man  as  Louis  naturally  is?" 

"I  don't  suppose  she  does  rest  much,"  replied  Mabel. 
"I  could  not  in  her  place." 

"And  yet  you  have  no  mercy  on  me !" 

"Oh,  indeed,  I  should  grieve  myself  to  death  if  I 
were  to  cause  such  trouble,"  said  Mabel. 

"Suppose  I  become  the  wreck  that  Louis  is?"  he 

A  quick  shudder  went  over  her,  as  she  answered: 

"You  could  not." 

"Would  you  care  ?"  he  asked. 

"Certainly  I  would,"  she  said;  "I  am  not  heart- 

"Well,  your  heart,  if  you  have  one,  is  pretty  well 
hid  from  me,"  he  retorted. 

To  change  the  subject,  she  asked : 

"What  will  your  sister  say  when  she  learns  that 
Mr.  Chester  has  had  to  go  back  to  his  confinement?" 

"She  will  be  deeply  grieved.  Her  boys  are  very 
dear  to  her,  if  other  wojnen  do  find  them  unlovable. 
And  it  will  trouble  her  to  know  that  Louis  was  vio- 
lent toward  you.  Oh,  Mabel,,  if  I  had  not  chanced  to 
return  home  sooner  than  usual  my  heart  would  have 
been  broken." 

"You  did  not  chance,"  she  said;  "God  sent  you 

He  said  nothing  to  that,  and  after  a  little  remarked : 

"If  Augusta  intends  dining  out,  you  and  I  will 
have  a  tete-d-tete  dinner,  or  shall  I  send  yours  to  you 

"I  am  able  to  go  to  mine,  thank  you,"  she  said,  "and 
it  is  time  now.  I  shall  have  to  make  a  change  in  my 
dress  first,"  and  she  rose  to  leave  the  room,  but  he 
stopped  her. 

"You  will  come  just  as  you  are.    You  are  not  strong 


now,  and  besides  no  one  will  see  your  toilette  save  my- 
self, and  to  me  you  are  lovely  at  all  times.  Take  my 
arm  and  let  us  go  to  the  dining  room." 

"I  am  no  invalid,"  she  said.  "I  do  not  need  sup- 

"My  arm  is  your  rightful  stay,  if  you  only  could 
believe  it,  and  I  shall  take  you  to  your  dinner  thus. 
Submit  to  the  stronger  will,  little  girl,  for  you  will 
have  to  do  it  yet,  and  might  as  well  begin  now." 

"We  will  see,"  she  said,  saucily. 

"So  we  shall,"  he  answered,  laughing. 

She  looked  at  him,  suddenly  very  grave. 

"Colonel  Chester,"  she  said,  "I  believe  you  think  I 
am  acting  as  I  do  just  to  be  perverse,  when,  really, 
there  is  a  deep-seated  principle  involved,  besides  other 
reasons  equally  powerful." 

"Tell  me  all  your  reasons,  and  perhaps  I  can  con- 
vince you  of  your  errors,"  said  he. 

"In  the  first  place,"  she  said,  "I  could  not  promise 
love  and  obedience  to  one  who  refuses  to  acknowledge 
his  Creator's  claim.  That  is  one  barrier  between  us, 
but  I  do  not  tell  you  that  even  if  you  were  a  Chris- 
tian I  would  say  *Yes.'  " 

She  spoke  so  firmly  he  looked  surprised. 

"Is  it  fair  to  keep  me  in  ignorance?"  he  asked.  "I 
might  be  able  to  overcome  the  other  objections  if  they 
were  known." 

"Impossible!"  she  replied. 

"Well,  dear,  I  can  wait,"  he  said  gently,  "and  one 
of  your  tenderness  cannot  always  withstand  such  de- 
votion. Love  begets  love,  you  know,  and  you  say  you 
are  sorry  for  me,  and  pity  is  the  twin  sister  of  love." 

"Would  you  want  only  pity?  A  proud  man  like 
yourself  would  be  satisfied  with  nothing  less  than  a 
woman's  deepest  love." 

"And  some  day,  my  little  rebel,  you  will  give  me  all 
the  girl  within  your  bosom  and  your  woman's  soul, 


and  till  you  do  give  me  that  I  can  live  on  the  sweet 
hope,"  he  replied,  smiling  fondly. 

"Always  remembering  I  do  not  bid  you  hope,"  she 

"I  have  led  a  forlorn  hope  before,"  he  said. 

"Yes,  in  battle,  but  this  is  different." 

She  wanted  to  say,  "And  then  you  could  order  a 
defenceless  man's  home  destroyed,"  but  she  refrained, 
and  he  rejoined,  all  unconscious  of  her  thoughts : 

"It  is  very  different,  and  I  think  I  would  rather  try 
to  take  the  enemy's  guns  than  a  girl's  heart  when  she 
seems  to  have  determined  upon  no  surrender.  But, 
Miss  Gordon,  victory  has  perched  on  my  banner,  and 
in  this  struggle  of  ours,  I  will  conquer  yet.  North 
against  South  again,  you  know,  and  you  might  as 
well  come  into  the  Union  now.  You  all  fight  well 
anywhere,  and  die  game,  but  little  girl,  you  are  fight- 
ing against  odds ;    I  have  determined  to  succeed." 

"And  suppose  I  say  I  am  resolved  you  shall  not?" 
she  asked. 

"'Twill  be  in  vain,  and  it  is  to  be  hoped  you  can 
yield  gracefully,"  he  retorted. 

"I  am  tired  of  this,"  she  said.  "You  and  I  can  never 
agree.     Please  let  us  talk  on  something  pleasanter." 

"As  you  please,"  said  he,  "and  if  you  can  find  a 
pleasanter  subject  to  me  I'll  be  under  obligations." 

"I  can,"  she  replied  demurely:  "does  your  coffee 
suit  you?" 

He  laughed  at  her  question. 

"And  so  you  think  what  a  man  eats  and  drinks  is 
the  most  important  of  all  things  to  him?" 

"It  was  not  until  I  prepared  a  dinner  for  you  that 
you  thought  me  worth  noticing,"  she  replied. 

"How  could  I  notice  you  when  you  steadily  per- 
sisted in  avoiding  me?  I  believe  you  started  out  with 
the  determination  of  hating  me,"  replied  he. 

"I  hate  no  one,"  she  said,  quietly. 


"Sometimes  hate  is  preferable  to  indifference,"  he 

"So  it  is,"  she  said,  "but  you  are  getting'  back  to  the 
old  theme." 

"True,"  he  said.  "Well,  I  will  stop.  Now  we  will 
adjourn  to  the  library,  and  I  will  devote  this  evening 
to  you,  if  you  will  let  me  smoke  in  your  presence." 

"I  wonder  that  you  ever  want  anything  more  to 
make  you  happy  while  you  have  your  precious  cigars," 
she  said. 

"When  I  get  you  I'll  give  them  up,  and  if  you  want 
the  habit  stopped  you  will  soon  give  me  the  answer  I 
crave,"  he  said,  smiling. 

"I  don't  say  you  will  ever  get  that,"  she  replied. 

"But  you  will  some  day,"  he  said. 

"Nothing  earthly  is  sure,"  she  replied. 

"And  of  all  uncertain  things  women  are  the  most," 
he  retorted. 

When  Mrs.  Rowland  returned  and  heard  from  her 
brother  of  Mabel's  escape  and  Louis'  relapse  she  was 
shocked  and  grieved. 

"My  poor  boy,"  she  mourned.  "Is  there  no  mercy 
for  him?  Oh,  I  have  asked  Heaven  to  bless  him,  and 
give  him  back  to  us,  and  my  heart  sang  for  joy  when 
he  seemed  restored,  and  now  all  is  dark  again." 

"Do  not  lose  faith,  dear  lady,"  comforted  Mabel. 
"God  will  hear  your  prayers." 

"And  you,  my  dear  adopted  child,  came  near  losing 
your  life  through  poor  Louis.  How  can  I  be  thank- 
ful enough  that  you  escaped !  How  could  I  have  faced 
those  parents  if  you  had  died!  Rudolf  will  have  to 
keep  constant  watch  over  you  as  he  suggested,  or  I 
will  never  let  you  leave  my  sight.  You  were  badly 
frightened,  I  know,  and  something  must  be  done  for 
you.    What  do  you  want  me  to  do?" 

"It  has  been  some  time  since  we  came  back,  and  if 


you  please,  I  would  like  to  go  to  see  my  parents,"  re- 
plied Mabel. 

"You  shall  do  so  and  I  will  run  down  with  you.  I 
enjoyed  my  visit  there  so  much  before,  another  will 
be  even  pleasanter.  So  write  as  soon  as  you  please 
and  say  we  are  coming.  Rudolf,  you  can  spare  us  a 

"If  I  am  to  be  consulted,"  he  replied,  "I  will  say 
that  you  can't  be  spared;  but  I  know  Miss  Gordon 
gets  homesick,  and  now  that  she  has  been  so  severely 
tried  it  may  be  best  to  take  her  away.  She  has  been 
very  bright  since  she  recovered  from  her  faint,  and 
as  she  claims  to  be  so  strong  as  to  need  no  support, 
she  may  not  feel  her  fright  as  much  as  we  fear.  Stiil, 
if  she  wants  to  go  home,  by  all  means  take  her." 

He  feigned  indifference,  and  his  sister  had  no  idea 
how  the  thought  of  giving  up  Mabel  disturbed  him. 
To  her,  when  alone  he  said : 

"I  am  afraid  you  will  never  come  back.  I  beg  you 
not  to  treat  me  that  way,  for  this  house  without  you 
would  be  unendurable.  I  am  afraid  you  will  find  some 
gallant  youth  down  South,  to  whom  this  seemingly  in- 
vulnerable heart  of  yours  will  go  out,  and  then  life 
is  over  for  me." 

"I  thought  you  were  certain  of  winning  me,"  she  re- 

"If  you'll  stay  here,  where  I  can  prove  my  devo- 
tion," said  he,  "I  will  win  you;  but  when  there  is  no 
one  to  plead  my  cause,  I  fear  defeat.  Will  you  tell 
me  how  that  other  man  won  your  heart,  and  was  able 
to  gain  such  a  treasure?" 

"I'd  rather  not  talk  about  that,"  she  said.  "He  has 
long  since  passed  out  of  my  life." 

"Do  you  think,  if  all  obstacles  were  removed,  he 
would  woo  in  vain?" 

"I  don't  think  of  such  an  impossibility  at  all,"  she 
replied.     "He  is  as  surely  gone  from  me  as  though 


he  were  dead ;  and  it  is  only  as  a  dear  friend  that  I  let 
myself  think  of  him.  Now,  please,  don't  question  me 
any  more.     Can't  you  trust  me?" 

"Implicitly,"  he  said.  "Some  time  you  will  open 
your  heart  to  me  and  tell  me  all  I  long  to  know.  Till 
then  I  can  wait,  sustained  by  the  sweet  hope." 

"Colonel  Chester,"  she  said  earnestly,  "please  don't 
look  forward  to  that  with  so  much  certainty,  for  I 
must  change  entirely  to  ever  feel  as  you  say  I  will." 

"And,"  said  he,  "as  people  are  constantly  changing 
there  is  hope  for  me." 

"So  there  is  also  a  likelihood  of  a  change  taking 
place  in  you,"  she  replied.  "You've  heard,  I  suppose,  of 
the  lady  who  reconsidered  her  answer  to  a  rejected 
suitor  and  told  him  she  had  changed  her  mind,  and 
he  said  he  had,  too.  'Twould  be  terribly  mortifying 
to  have  you  say  that  to  me  in  case  I  ever  go  to  you 
with  the  answer  you  believe  I  will." 

"Try  me,  please."  he  said,  "and  I'll  prove  how  con- 
stant I  can  be.  How  do  you  suppose  Mammy  will 
like  me  as  a  member  of  the  family?  I'm  going  to  see 
you  if  you  stay  away  long.     I  want  to  see  your  home." 

"It  is  very  unpretentious,"  she  said,  "but  a  pretty 
place  to  me.  Roses  and  honeysuckles  and  Cape  jas- 
mines, and  lots  of  dear  old-fashioned  flowers  make 
it  sweet  and  gay,  and  the  immense  oaks  give  delightful 
shade.  I  love  every  tree  and  flower  there.  Our  ow^n 
beautiful  house  was  burned  during  the  war,  and  father 
has  never  been  able  to  rebuild  it,  so  you'll  find  us  liv- 
ing in  a  style  very  unlike  yours ;  but  you  will  also 
meet  fine  courtesy  and  hospitality,  for  my  parents  are 
true  gentlefolks." 

"I  see  what  the  daughter  is,"  said  he.  "and  know 
that  the  parents  are  all  they  should  be."  He  spoke 
readily,  and  his  voice  was  even  and  pleasant,  but  "his 
face  had  changed  when  she  spoke  of  her  ruined  home, 


and  as  she  made  no  reply  to  his  gallant  speech  he  con- 
tinued : 

"You  say  your  home  was  burned?  Do  you  know 
how  it  occurred?" 

'"Twas  ordered  done  by  a  man  in  command  of  a  com- 
pany of  soldiers,"  she  answered,  very  quietly.  "I  was 
s'ery  small,  you  know.  Mammy  has  often  told  me  about 
it,  and  I  remember  how  angry  she  was,  and  that  father 
seemed  like  one  distraught.  Poor  mother  was  so  hurt 
she  couldn't  say  anything.  Our  silver  was  taken  by 
some  of  the  men ;  the  pretty  china  and  glassware 
broken  into  bits,  the  piano  split  into  tiny  pieces,  and 
the  other  furniture  injured  before  the  torch  was  ap- 
plied. Oh,  it  was  terrible!  You  can  never  imagine 
how  horrible  it  was  to  us.  None  of  us  grieve  for 
the  loss  of  our  slaves,  and  I  am  glad  they  are  free, 
for  I  believe  slavery  is  wrong;  but  it  is  hard  to  keep 
down  feelings  of  resentment  when  we  think  of  the 
wanton  destruction  of  our  dear  home." 

Her  listener  tingled  with  shame  as  he  heard  the  sim- 
ply told  tale  of  their  wrongs,  and  remembered  it  was 
by  his  order  it  was  done.  He  had  made  homeless  this 
fair  girl,  to  whom  he  would  now  gladly  give  his  all. 
Little  then  did  he  think  he  would  ever  sue  for  the  love 
of  the  trembling  child,  and  feel  that  unless  he  could 
gain  her  heart  the  whole  world  was  a  void.  What  if 
she  could  know  he  had  done  that  shameful  act.  With 
her  strong  feelings  would  she  not  spurn  him  as  he 
felt  he  deserved  to  be?     He  rose  and  paced  the  floor. 

"Are  you  angry  with  me  for  telling  you?"  she  asked 

"Angry  with  you,  Mabel  ?  No.  dear  child,  you 
could  not  anger  me.  I  am  disturbed  about  what  you 
have  said. 

"I  do  not  blame  you  of  the  North  for  wanting 
slavery  abolished,"  she  went  on,  "and  I  wish  you  would 
go  further,  and  emancipate  the  slaves  among  you,  for 


you  know  they  exist,  and  this  kind  is  as  great  a  blot 
upon  those  who  have  them  in  their  power  as  was  that 
of  the  South,  but  there  is  a  dijETerence  in  favor  of  my 
people,  for  there  was  a  bond  of  affection  between  mas- 
ter and  slave  with  us,  and  show  me  if  you  can,  any 
such  tie  here.  Money  governs  and  flesh  and  blood 
suffer.  Body  and  soul  are  lost  in  this  slavery,  yet  it 
goes  on.  You  fought  us.  Colonel  Chester,  to  help 
abolish  the  bondage  of  the  colored  race,  for  which  we 
were  not  responsible  in  the  beginning,  and  here  at 
your  very  door  is  a  greater  work  you  might  engage 
in,  and  not  have  to  resort  to  violence." 

"You  are  a  foeman  worthy  of  my  steel,  little  girl," 
he  replied,  "and  as  you  are  not  in  the  state  of  mind 
that  I  am,  you  have  the  advantage.  Of  course  I  will 
agree  to  anything  you  say  now." 

"I  do  not  want  you  to  agree  to  what  I  say  if  you 
don't  believe  it,"  she  responded. 

"Miss  Gordon,"  he  said  suddenly,  "is  it  because  I 
belong  to  the  side  arrayed  against  your  people  that 
you  refuse  to  listen  to  my  love?" 

"No,"  she  replied,  "for  I  do  not  blame  you  for 
fighting  for  the  Union  any  more  than  I  do  my  dear 
brothers  for  defending  our  rights.  There  were  brave 
men  on  both  sides,  and  as  an  American  I  am  proud  of 
both,  and  I  cannot  blame  you  for  doing  your  duty  as 
you  believed  it  to  be.  If  you  ever  wantonly  destroyed 
a  home  I  think  you  should  feel  very  sorry  for  that." 

He  didn't  know  what  to  say.  and  was  very  glad  that 
his  sister  just  then  called  for  Mabel.  Was  ever  a  man 
in  a  worse  plight?  He  had  never  believed  any  woman 
could  touch  his  heart,  and  now  if  he  could  only  win 
this  girl,  to  whom  he  bowed  in  deepest  devotion,  he 
knew  the  earth  could  hold  no  happier  man.  He  had 
all  along  spoken  very  assuredly  to  her  of  his  success 
in  winning  her  love,  but  she  had  not  then  told  him  of 
her  sad  recollections.  If  she  should  find  out  the  part 


he  played  and  loathe  him,  why  he  would  only  go 
mad,  as  poor  Louis  had  done,  or  end  his  life.  Yes, 
he  would  die,  for  what  was  there  after  death? 
"Nothing,"  he  said,  so  he  would  end  all  his  trouble 
at  once  if  she  ever  scorned  him.  No  act  of  his  life  had 
been  more  regretted  than  that  done  in  the  heat  of 
passion,  and  now  the  thought  was  bitter  indeed.  How 
little  do  we  think  of  the  consequence  of  an  act  or  word ! 
Years  of  sorrow  may  follow  the  hasty  deed,  and  an 
unconscious  Nepiesis  arise  from  an  unlooked-for 
source.  The  frightened  child,  trembling  in  her 
mother's  arms,  then  unnoticed  by  the  invading  foe, 
had  become  a  queenly  woman,  holding  in  her  power 
his  happiness  for  life.  He  was  pleading  for  mercy 
from  her,  and  when  he  might  have  shown  it  there  was 
none  for  her  and  her  dear  ones.  He  groaned  aloud  in 
his  anguish,  as  he  stood  looking  out  into  the  street 
below.  No  one,  seeing  the  elegant  man  standing  be- 
hind the  crystal,  clear  glass  of  the  window,  would  have 
supposed  that  he  was  enduring  bitter  sorrow.  He 
looked  around  the  room,  and  noted  its  appearance. 
Handsome  paintings  adorned  the  walls,  and  rare  statu- 
ary added  to  the  beauty  of  his  surroundings.  His 
home  held  every  comfort  wealth  could  give,  and  yet 
his  heart  was  hungering  for  the  love  of  the  simple 
maiden,  who  was  filled  with  joy  at  the  thought  of 
soon  reaching  that  humble  cottage,  and  she  preferred 
that  to  being  mistress  of  all  he  could  offer.  What  could 
be  the  cause  of  her  repeated  refusals?  Other  women, 
professing  to  be  Christians,  had  married  men  like  him- 
self and  seemed  happy.  He  would  not  interfere  with 
her  religious  belief,  and  she  should  trust  him  that 
much.  If  she  left,  feeling  as  she  did,  and  should 
tell  her  parents  of  his  infidelity,  she  would  never  re- 
turn. He  strode  out  of  the  room,  nearly  running  over 
Mabel,  who  was  passing  along  the  hall . 


"Why,  Colonel  Chester!"  she  exclaimed.  "Where 
are  you  going  in  such  haste?" 

He  looked  at  her  almost  savagely  as  he  reached  for 
his  hat. 

"I  am  going  to  get  away  from  you  if  I  can,"  he  re- 

Her  face  crimsoned,  and  she  drew  herself  up 
proudly,  as  she  said : 

"You  need  not  leave  your  house,  sir,  to  do  that," 
and  swept  by  him,  nor  heeded  his  call  to  her  to  let  him 

"I've  done  it  now,"  he  said,  gloomily,  as  he  walked 
away.     "She  will  never  hear  me  any  more." 



No  SIGHT  of  Mabel  gladdened  his  eyes  after  that. 
Preparations  went  on  for  her  departure,  and  he  knew 
if  she  left  with  that  rude  speech  ringing  in  her  mem- 
ory he  might  as  well  give  up  all  hope. 

Mrs.  Rowland  saw  he  was  worried  and  asked  the 

"I  acted  like  a  brute  to  Miss  Gordon,"  he  said,  "and 
I  would  like  to  apologize  to  her.  Will  you  please 
persuade  her  to  let  me  see  her  in  the  parlor  this  even- 

"I  will  tell  her,  but  I  doubt  her  seeing  you,  for 
she  was  very  indignant  over  something  that  occurred. 
She  didn't  say  much,  but  I  never  saw  such  a  look  on 
her  face  before,  and  if  you  were  the  offender  you  will 
need  all  your  eloquence  now,"  replied  his  sister. 

He  tore  a  leaf  from  his  note  book  and  wrote  a  few 

"Give  her  this,"  he  said,  folding  it,  "and  try  to  in- 
duce her  to  see  me.  I  must  get  things  righted  be- 
tween us  before  she  leaves." 

Mrs.  Rowland  looked  surprised. 

"Rudolf,"  she  said,  "does  this  child  hold  it  in  her 
power  to  affect  your  happiness  in  any  way?" 

He  was  tempted  to  say,  "She  holds  my  every  hope," 
and  well  for  him  had  he  done  so,  but  he  answered  : 

"Oh,  I  don't  want  her  to  remember  me  as  being  rude 
to  her  just  as  she  leaves.  She  has  made  it  very  pleas- 
ant for  us  here,  and  I  want  her  to  leave  with  kind 

"Do  you  know,  brother,"  continued  the  lady,  "that 
I  have  thought  you  fancied  Mabel  more  than  anyone 


else?  And  I  hoped  she  might  love  you,  for  she  is  so 
true  and  pure  she  would  make  you  the  kind  of  wife 
you  need,  and  you  have  enough  of  worldly  goods  to 
marry  a  portionless  girl,  especially  when  she  is  a  for- 
tune in  herself." 

"Nonsense,  Augusta,"  he  said.  "I  am  surprised  at 
you  for  thinking  of  such  a  thing  in  connection  with 

If  Mabel  had  given  him  any  hope  he  would  have 
expressed  himself  differently,  but  that  last  talk  showed 
upon  what  a  slender  thread  he  hung,  and  he  hated  to 
let  even  his  sister  know  how  he  felt. 

"Please  tell  her  to  come  down  soon,"  he  said,  "for 
I  am  going  to  see  Louis,  or  rather  the  superintendent 
about  him.  You  will  want  to  go  to  see  the  poor  boy, 
too,  and  when  you  go  home  with  Miss  Gordon  don't 
prolong  your  stay  too  long;  for  his  sake  you  will 
have  to  hurry  back.     I  am  going  to  the  parlor  now." 

He  hadn't  been  there  long  when  Mabel  entered  the 
room.  He  handed  her  a  chair  as  she  paused  near  him, 
but  she  declined  it,  saying : 

"I  have  only  a  few  moments  to  stay," 

"A  few  moments  to  give  me  when  you  are  going 
to  leave  so  soon?  I  must  have  offended  beyond  par- 
don. Mabel,  I  beg  you  to  let  me  apologize  to  you. 
I  was  mad  with  pain  then,  and  hardly  knew  what  I 
was  doing.  Won't  you  be  kind  to  me,  and  let  it  pass  ? 
This  will  be  our  last  talk  alone,  and  the  thought  of 
losing  you,  even  for  a  short  time,  ruins  me.  Be 
merciful  to  me,  and  as  you  hope  for  mercy,  show  it  to 
me  now." 

He  knelt  beside  her  and  clasped  her  hand  in  both 
his,  as  she  sank  into  a  chair.  She  was  sitting  where 
she  fell  the  day  Colonel  Chester  rescued  her  from  the 
maniac's  grasp,  and  the  ^emembrance  of  that,  and  of 
the  other  times  he  stood  between  her  and  death  came 
over  her^  and  her  face  softened. 


"Rise,  Colonel  Chester,"  she  said.  "Do  not  kneel  to 
me.     I  forgive  you  freely." 

"Thank  you!"  he  exclaimed.  "And  now  please  go 
further  and  tell  me  that  I  may  hope  to  win  your  love." 

"I  cannot,"  she  said.  "I  beg  you  not  to  ask  that 

"Mabel,"  he  said,  "I  want  to  assure  you  of  my  truth, 
and  if  the  time  ever  comes  when  you  can  love  me  don't 
hestitate  to  tell  me,  for  if  from  fear  of  troubling  you  I 
am  silent,  believe  me,  I  shall  await  you  longingly." 

"And  you  may  never  hear  what  you  desire,"  she  an- 
swered sadly. 

He  sighed  as  he  took  a  seat,  and  rested  his  head  on 
his  hand. 

She  was  sorry  for  him,  and  it  seemed  so  heartless 
to  leave  him  there  looking  so  sorrowful  that  she  moved 
quietly  to  the  piano,  and  softly  touching  the  keys  tried 
to  tell  him  through  her  beloved  music  how  she  felt. 
She  had  never  played  for  him  till  then,  and  he  listened 
as  he  had  not  done  before.  After  she  had  played  a 
long  symphony  she  thought  would  soothe  him,  she  said : 

"I  am  going  to  sing  one  of  the  songs  we  loved  at 
home,  but  I  fear  you  may  not  like  it,  and  may  laugh 
at  our  taste." 

"Can  you  believe  that  of  me?"  he  asked.  "I  shall 
enjoy  it  if  you  do,  and  there  will  be  no  laughing,  as 
my  heart  is  too  sad  for  that.    Let  me  hear  your  song." 

Striking  a  few  chords,  she  began :  "When  Shall  We 
Meet  again,"  and  sung  the  old  piece  through,  for  every 
word  in  it  was  dear  to  her,  associated  as  it  was  with 
her  home  and  childhood.  When  she  had  finished  he 
said  nothing  and  she  spoke : 

"I  am  afraid  my  song  bored  you  and  I  beg  pardon. 
I  don't  know  why  I  wanted  to  sing  that  to  you." 

"And  why  not  to  me?"    he  asked. 

"Well,  you  don't  believe  as  I  do;  it  must  have  sound- 
ed silly  to  you,"  she  answered. 


"Mabel,"  he  said,   "please  don't  tell  your  parents 
of  my  infidelity,  for  I  want  to  stand  well  with  them." 

"I  shall  tell  them,"  she  answered,  "of  your  kindness 
and  bravery — of  how  you  saved  my  life." 

"Mine,"  he  said.  "Ah!  little  girl,  will  you  never 
understand  how  dear  you  are  to  me?" 

"Please  hush,"  she  begged.  "I  must  leave  you 
now,  and  don't  say  anything  of  that  again." 

"I  will  bid  you  good-night,  then,  and  to-morrow 
we  say  good-bye.  When  will  I  hold  this  dear  hand 
again  as  I  hold  it  now?  Mabel,  sweetheart,  promise 
me  if  you  will  not  be  mine,  you  will  at  least  give  no 
other  man  this  hand.  It  is  selfish  in  me  to  ask  such  a 
pledge,  but  I  can't  help  it." 

"I  can  easily  promise  that,"  she  said. 

"Thank  you."  He  put  his  hand  under  her  chin  and 
lifted  her  face,  looking  at  her  as  though  he  would 
stamp  the  dear  lineaments  on  his  mind  forever. 

"Will  you  think  of  me,  dear?"  he  asked. 

"Certainly,"  she  said,  "and  more — I  will  pray  for 

"When  you  left  to  go  to  your  home  before,"  he 
said,  "I  loved  you  and  hated  to  see  you  go,  but  it  did 
not  hurt  me  then  as  now.  Does  it  mean  that  we  are 
parting  forever  ?  Oh,  Mabel,  I  must  hope  to  have  you 
near  me,  otherwise  life  will  be  nothing  to  me." 

"Good-night,"  she  said,  "and  believe  me  that  I  wish 
for  you  a  good  night  indeed." 

He  smiled. 

"Ah !  you  w'ant  to  get  away.  Well,  I  will  let  you 
go.     Good-night,  beloved." 

He  pressed  a  kiss  on  the  hand  he  held,  then  opened 
the  door  for  her  to  pass  out. 

"Did  you  and  Rudolf  come  to  amicable  terms?" 
asked  Mrs.  Rowland  of  her  when  she  appeared  in  that 
lady's  room. 

"Indeed  we  did,"  replied  the  girl.     "How  could  I 


cherish  unkind  feelings  toward  one  to  whom  I  owe  so 

"Rudolf  is  a  noble  man,  and  those  who  know  him 
best  can  appreciate  him.  Get  off  to  rest,  Mabel,  for  a 
tiresome  journey  is  before  us." 

"Mrs.  Rowland,"  said  the  girl,  "would  it  make  much 
difference  to  you  if  I  conclude  to  remain  at  home?" 

"It  would  make  all  the  difference,"  the  lady  an- 
swered, "for  I  need  you  more  now  than  when  you 
first  came  to  me.  What  has  caused  this  sudden 
change  ?" 

"I  thought  my  parents  might  need  me,  and  that 
you  could  easily  fill  my  place." 

"Well,  I  cannot,  so  dismiss  all  thought  of  it,  if  you 
please,  and  go  prepared  to  return  with  me.  I  believed 
you  were  happy  here  and  that  you  loved  me." 

"And  so  I  do,  dear  lady;  you  have  been  so  kind  to 
me.  Please  never  think  I  want  to  leave  you,"  assured 

"Then  you  are  to  come  back.  Go  to  sleep  and  forget 
your  nonsense,  and  don't  disturb  me  with  it  again. 
You  quite  upset  me  then,  Mabel." 

"Forgive  me,  please,"  said  the  girl,  smiling. 

"Of  course  I  will.  Go  to  sleep,  and  sweet  dreams 
to  you,"  answered  the  lady. 

Mabel  smiled  and  kissed  her  friend. 

"You  are  so  good  to  me,"  she  said,  and  the  tears 
v/elled  up  so  she  could  say  no  more. 

Mrs.  Rowland  was  settling  herself  for  the  night 
and  did  not  notice  her  face  just  then,  to  Mabel's  re- 
lief. Her  heart  was  very  heavy,  for  it  gave  her  real 
pain  to  inflict  suffering  upon  anyone,  and  especially 
upon  one  entitled,  as  Colonel  Chester  was,  to  her  es- 
teem. But  she  was  determined,  once  she  reached 
home,  not  to  return  to  the  same  house  that  held  her 

Mrs.  Rowland  had  to  go  to  see  Louis  before  she 


Started  on  her  journey,  and  her  brother  accompanied 
her.  He  was  very  quiet,  and  when  his  sister  expressed 
a  fear  that  he  was  ill,  replied  that  a  headache  had  pre- 
vented his  sleeping  soundly,  but  he  would  soon  be  well 
again.  He  went  with  them  to  the  station,  and  during 
the  ride  Mrs.  Rowland  said : 

"Rudolf,  Mabel  astonished  me  last  night  by  asking 
if  I  could  let  her  remain  at  home.  What  do  you  think 
of  that?" 

He  turned  to  the  girl  and  said : 

"You  surely  can't  think  seriously  of  treating  us  so 
badly.  My  sister  will  need  you,  Miss  Gordon,  and,  old 
bachelor  that  I  am,  I  will  miss  you  very  much.  Pray 
dismiss  all  such  thought  and  return  when  Augusta 
does,  which  I  hope  will  be  soon.  Louis  seems  to  be 
doing  very  well  and  may  not  need  her  soon,  but  she 
has  another  brother,  you  know,  and,  unlovable  as  he 
may  be  to  all  others,  she  seems  to  find  something  in 
him  to  love.  My  health  does  not  give  her  any  solici- 
tude, but  ever  since  our  mother  died  she  has  fussed 
over  us  and  seemed  to  think  we  never  would  get  old 
enough  to  do  without  her  care,  and  I  confess  it  is 
nice  to  have  her  look  after  me." 

Mrs.  Rowland  smiled  tenderly  as  she  responded : 

"I  have  enjoyed  caring  for  you,  brother,  for,  even 
with  your  general  dislike  of  my  sex,  you  have  always 
given  me  the  love  and  respect  you  should.  I  wish  you 
would  open  your  heart  to  some  good  woman,  and  let 
me  see  ^'■ou  happily  married.  It  grieves  me  to  think  of 
your  life  being  passed  as  it  is,  and  old  age  to  find  you 
without  the  ties  a  man  needs  then." 

Mabel  felt  his  eyes  upon  her  and  would  not  look 
in  his  direction. 

"She  is  wishing  a  hard  fate  for  some  woman,  is  she 
not,  Miss  Gordon  ?"  he  asked. 

Thus  addressed,  Mabel  had  to  look  at  him. 

"I  cannot  tell,"  she  said.     "You  seem  very  kind  to 


your  sister,  and  it  is  said  that  is  a  good  sign.  Willie 
is  a  good  husband,  so  Nellie  says,  and  he  sometimes 
treated  me  indifferently,  but  in  the  main  I  suppose  he 
was  kind." 

"When  are  you  going  to  find  out  what  sort  of  a  hus- 
band some  other  lady's  brother  makes?"  he  asked. 

She  flushed  to  the  roots  of  her  hair,  and  there  wtis 
a  gleam  of  teeth  under  his  moustache,  as  he  saw  her 

"Really,"  she  replied,  "I  have  no  idea.  When  I 
meet  the  man  able  to  call  out  my  love,  and  whom  I  can 
trust — who  loves  me  with  all  his  heart  and  honors  his 
Creator  as  he  should — then  I  will  give  myself  to 

It  was  his  turn  to  color,  and  he  did,  for  he  under- 
stood her  reply. 

"May  you  meet  your  ideal,"  he  said,  bowing. 

"Thank  you,"  she  answered,  briefly. 

"Come,  children,"  interposed  Mrs.  Rowland,  "don't 
have  a  quarrel  just  as  you  are  parting.  Rudolf,  be 
pleasant  to  the  child  and  let  her  feel  that  she  wants  to 
return  with  me.  I  can't  understand  why  you  take  such 
delight  in  teasing  Mabel." 

"Perhaps  if  she  will  come  back,"  he  said,  "she  may 
succeed  in  making  something  of  me  other  than  the 
heathen  I  am.    Am  I  a  hopeless  case.  Miss  Gordon?" 

"No,  sir,"  she  said.  "Your  case  would  be  hopeless, 
though,  if  God  were  not  so  kind ;  but  he  is  long-suf- 
fering, and  I  believe  some  day  you  will  acknowledge 

"Do  you  believe  that?"  he  asked,  quickly. 

She  knew  what  he  meant,  and  she  did  not  care  to 
answer  him  in  a  way  that  he  could  gain  any  hope 
from  her,  so  she  said: 

"Yes,  I  believe  it ;  but  we  will  have  to  stop  this  now. 
You  and  I  never  agree,  you  know,  and  I  don't  want  to 


argue  with  you  at  the  last  moment.     It  is  time  to  say 

As  he  helped  them  from  the  carriage  Mrs.  Rowland 
met  a  friend  who  took  off  her  attention,  and  together 
ihey  walked  into  the  waiting-room,  leaving  Colonel 
Chester  with  Mabel,  to  his  joy. 

"I  implore  you  to  come  back,"  he  said,  speaking  rap- 
idly. "You  must  know  that  you  are  all  the  world  to 
me.  Oh,  Mabel,  my  love,  I  will  be  so  tender  and  true 
you  will  have  to  say  'yes'  to  me.    Is  there  no  hope  yet  ?" 

"None,"  she  whispered. 

"I  will  wait,"  he  said,  "and  be  so  true.  Remember 
when  love  comes  you  are  to  tell  me.  I  will  never  ask 
you  again,  but,  oh,  how  I  will  long  to  hear  the  sweet 
admission.     You  will  come  to  me  then." 

Others  were  near,  and  he  had  to  hush  and  be  simply 
her  escort,  but  as  he  saw  to  the  comfort  of  both  ladies 
Mabel  knew  his  heart  was  heavy,  and  it  hurt  her.  He 
bade  his  sister  an  affectionate  farewell,  then  he  turned 
to  the  girl,  and  onlookers  saw  nothing  save  a  quiet 
leavetaking  as  he  said : 

"Good-bye,  Miss  Gordon.  I  wish  you  a  pleasant 
trip;"  but  she  read  the  regret  in  his  eyes,  and  her 
hand  ached  from  the  pressure  of  his  strong  clasp  long 
after  she  saw  him  standing  among  some  friends,  as 
the  train  moved  off,  while  the  thought  of  him  alone  in 
his  home  somewhat  marred  her  joy  in  going  to  her 
dear  ones. 

He  was  so  lonely.  The  great  house  seemed  op- 
pressive in  its  quietude.  Everything  reminded  him  of 
Mabel.  Did  he  pass  her  room  door  he  thought  of  the 
time  he  saw  her  lying  on  the  bed,  so  like  the  dead  that 
his  own  heart  stood  still.  If  he  went  into  the  parlor 
her  music  recalled  her,  and  he  could  almost  fancy  the 
graceful,  girlish  presence  near  him.  Often  he  took 
from  its  hiding  place  the  little  purse  he  still  kept, 
and  held  it  to  his  lips.     The  church  bells  brought  her 


to  mind,  too,  for  she  was  faithful  in  her  worship. 
He  remembered  how  she  bore  his  taunts,  and  her  ear- 
nestness in  defending  the  faith  she  held. 

He  devoted  himself  to  his  work,  but  between  him 
and  everything  he  tried  to  do  came  a  fair,  sweet  face, 
with  soft,  purplish-blue  eyes,  and  his  heart  called 
unceasingly  for  his  enslaver. 

"North  and  South  have  met  again,"  he  said  to  him- 
self "and  this  time  I  am  conquered." 

164  'MABEL    GORDON 


The  cottage  'neath  the  oaks  never  seemed  dearer 
to  Mabel  than  when  she  and  Mrs.  Rowland  reached 
it  after  their  tiresome  journey.  The  parents  held  her 
so  close  that  Mrs.  Rowland  feared  they  meant  to  keep 
Mabel  now  that  she  was  once  more  with  them.  Nellie 
held  out  to  welcome  "Aunt  Mabel"  a  chubby  blue-eyed 
boy,  which  Willie  said  was  the  finest  baby  in  the 

Viney  was  there  to  tell  her  "Mammy  had  one  er 
dem  spells  she  subjec'  tuh,  'n  little  missy  mus'  cum 
jes'  ez  soon  ez  dey  could  spar  her,  fo'  de  ole  eyes  achin' 
fo'  de  sight  ob  her." 

And  she  was  speedily  gratified,  Mrs.  Gordon  accom- 
panying Mabel.  The  old  nurse  broke  into  rapturous 
thanksgiving  that  she  w^as  permitted  to  see  her  "pre- 
shus  chile"  again,  and  exclamations  of  delight  over  the 
presents  brought  from  '"way  off  yander." 

"We  gwine  keep  'ur  now,  mistis,  ain'  we?"  she 
asked  Mrs.  Gordon.     "We  all  needs  'ur." 

"Mrs.  Rowland  says  not,"  the  mother  replied,  "but 
I  hope  we  will  make  her  stay  so  pleasant  that  Mabel 
will  decide  to  remain  with  us.  Nellie  is  a  dear  daugh- 
ter and  great  comfort,  but  you  know  there  can  be  none 
like  my  own  child." 

"That's  for  you  and  father  to  decide,"  said  the  girl, 
"and  I  rather  hope  you'll  say  stay.  I  could  not  be 
more  pleasantly  fixed  than  I  am,  and  I  love  my  friends 
very  much;  but  home  is  the  sweetest  place  to  me. 
Then  that  precious  baby  makes  me  want  to  stay." 

"An'  so,  honey,  yer  not  so  kerried  'way  wid  de 
granjer  er  de  big  place  whar  yer  bin  stayin'  az  ter  fer- 


git  yer  own  home?  Dat's  right!  Sum  on  'em  'bout 
hyur  signify  how  yo'  mought  be  spiled  by  all  de  finery 
but  I  tell  'em  yer  gwine  cum  back  de  same  in  spirit,  no 
mattah  how  fine  yer  looks,  wid  yer  cheeks  shinin'  lak 
Queen  Jezebel's.  Yas,  chile,  ole  Mammy  hab  faith  in 
yer  all  de  time,  caze  she  got  so  much  in  de  Lawd,  an' 
He  de  one  dat  bin  watchin'  an'  guidin'  yer  all  deze 
years.  Yer  ma  gie  yer  inter  His  keepin'  when  yer 
fust  draw'd  de  bref  er  life.  Now  tell  us  'bout  dat  tur- 
rible  spell  er  sickness  yer  had,"  and  Mammy  composed 
herself  to  listen. 

"There's  not  much  to  tell,"  said  Mabel.  "I  was  very 
ill,  and  everybody  was  so  kind  to  me ;  my  own  people 
could  not  have  been  better.  Mother,  you  know  some- 
thing of  Colonel  Chester's  kindness." 

"Heaven  bless  him !"  exclaime^d  Mrs.  Gordon. 
"Those  were  dark  days  to  us  all,  and  he  comforted 
and  helped  us  more  than  I  can  tell.  I  tried  to  express 
my  gratitude  in  a  letter  to  him,  but  language  failed 

"I  saw  your  letter,  and  it  was  perfect,"  said  Mabel. 
She  did  not  add  that  Colonel  Chester  had  said  they 
were  people  whose  gratitude  a  little  service  could  gain, 
but  their  love — well,  he  didn't  believe  anyone  could  get 

"How  did  father  like  him  ?"  asked  Mabel. 

"Very  much,"  said  her  mother. 

"So  he  is  getting  over  his  prejudice  somewhat?" 

"Well,  I  don't  know  that  he  has  changed  to  the  peo- 
ple in  general ;  he  thinks  highly,  of  course,  of  him,  and 
says  he  is  under  tremendous  obligations.  Our  lawyers 
worked  faithfully,  but  the  judge  didn't  give  them  a 
fair  showing,  and  he  stood  in  awe  of  Colonel  Chester 
because  of  his  being  a  Northern  man,"  said  Mrs.  Gor- 

"Tell  us,  honey,"  said  the  nurse,  "why  de  kunnel 
tuck  the  intrus'  he  did  in  our  po'  boy." 

166  'MABEL    GORDON 

Mabel's  color  deepened  at  the  question,  but  she  an- 
swered quietly : 

"He  is  really  a  kind  man,  and  he  feared  my  people 
might  blame  them  for  my  illness,  when  father  wrote 
for  me,  and  I,  of  course,  couldn't  come.  No  one  else 
could  do  the  good  he  could  in  the  case,  so  he  dropped 
everything  and  rushed  to  Willie's  help." 

And  then  she  went  on  to  tell  them  of  the  narrow^  es- 
capes she'd  had,  and  how  he  saved  her,  Mammy  lis- 
tening with  bated  breath  till  she  finished.  Then  such 
praises  as  Mammy  gave  her  "blessed  Lawd." 

Mrs.  Gordon's  face  was  very  pale,  and  she  held 
Mabel's  hand  close,  w^hile  she  murmured  heartfelt 
thanks  for  her  child's  preservation. 

"We'll  hatter  keep  her  wid  us,  I  reck'n,"  said  Mam- 
my. "Look  lak  it  temptin'  Providence  ter  let  her  go 

The  old  woman's  suspicions  about  the  cause  of 
Colonel  Chester's  interest  once  aroused,  she  wasn't 
satisfied  till  she  could  question  Mabel,  so  at  the  first 
opportunity  of  talking  privately  she  asked : 

"Little  Missy,  didn'  dat  kunnel  do  so  much  fer  yer 
becaze  he  want  yer  fer  hese'f?  Tell  ole  Mammy, 
honey.  Yo'  sholy  ain'  'fraid  ter  trus'  her  atter  alius 
cumin'  ter  her  wad  5'-o'  trials !" 

Then  Mabel  told  her  of  his  love,  but  kept  from  her 
the  causes  of  her  refusals. 

"An'  he  can't  git  yq'  heart?  Well,  honey,  he  mus' 
be  a  fine  man  frum  all  yer  say,  but  I  bleebs  I  des  as 
lief  yer  keep  on  tellin'  him  'no,'  fer  he  moiight  haf  sum 
knowledge  er  de  'stroyance  er  our  home,  an'  I  got  too 
much  pride  fer  a  Gawd'n  ter  tek  a  home  frum  one  dat 
burnt  hers,  do'  it  seem  right  an'  proper  dat  he  shou'd 
gie  yer  annuder  fine  one  in  de  place  er  de  one  he 

"Why,  Mammy!"  exclaimed  Mabel,  "you  talk  as  if 
Colonel  Chester  himself  did  that." 


"An'  so  he  moiight,  but  frum  de  tenderness  er  his 
sister's  heart  I  doubts  his  bein'  de  ve'ey  one.  Still,  I 
holds  him  'sponsible  fer  er  heap  er  de  devilment  dat 
went  on  den.  Is  I  tell  yer  'bout  yer  udder  beau  cumin' 
ter  see  me?  Yas,  he  manages  ter  run  in  whenebber 
he  fetches  dat  po'ly  creeter  ter  de  Springs.  Dey  tell  me 
he  mighty  kin'  an'  good  ter  her,  an'  dat  dey  ain'  nuttin' 
she  calls  fer  dat  he  fail  ter  get.  I  feel  sorry  fer  bofe 
de  po'  things.  He  sont  me  sum  fine  liquor,  an'  cum  he- 
self  ter  see  me,  'fer  de  sake  er  ole  times,'  he  say,  an'  he 
talk  an'  talk  erbout  when  you  an'  him  wuz  young,  an' 
how  he  'membrinced  de  pleasant  walks  you  took  ter- 
gedder,  an'  I  des  boun'  ter  feel  fer  him,  an'  tell  him 
ter  drap  in  an'  see  me  whenebber  he  wuz  erbout  hyur. 
Honey,  is  all  de  hurt  gone  out  er  yer  heart,  er  is  dat  de 
reason  yer  say  'no'  so  menny  times  ter  de  kunnel?" 

"That  was  one  reason,"  admitted  Mabel,  "but  I 
think  the  hurt  is  gone  away  now,  and  but  for  a  natural 
horror  I  have  of  him,  for  certain  views  he  holds,  I 
might  be  very  fond  of  him." 

"Can't  he  turn  dem  loose,  chile?  Whut  de  mattah 
wid  dem?  Tell  me,  baby,  an'  I  promis'  nobody  will 
heer  ob  'em  frum  me." 

Thus  entreated,  Mabel  told  her  that  Colonel  Ches- 
ter believed  in  no  future  for  the  soul — no  God. 

"Whut!"  almost  screamed  the  old  nurse.  "Yo'  say 
dat  man  so  smaht  an'  got  so  much  sense!  Honey,  de 
bible  say  de  fool  say  dat.  Lawd  hab  mussy  on  de  po' 
sinner  fool !  Chile,  I  des'  as  soon  fer  yo'  ter  be  playin' 
wid  rattlesnakes  as  ter  let  dat  pizenous  creetur  cum 
nigh  yer.  He  mought  'swade  yer  ter  lub  him,  an'  den 
'stroy  yer  faith  in  de  Lawd,  an',  chile,  de  'stroyance  er 
yer  earthly  home  wuz  nuttin',  cru'l  as  it  waz,  ter  takin' 
away  dat  heabenly  one.  Don't  go  back  dere,  fer  ef  yer 
faith  is  strong  now,  3^er  is  only  human,  an'  ef  yer 
should  ebber  lub  him,  den  yer  dun  fer.  Er  woman 
alius  did  let  her  heart  rule  her  head,  an'  he  mought  git 


yer  min'  confuse  up  so  dat  yo'd  beleeb  him.  You 
can't  cum  in  daily  contac'  wid  anything  dirty  an'  not 
git  s'iled." 

"Long  ago,  Mammy,"  said  Mabel,  "I  gave  my  heart 
into  my  Savior's  keeping,  and  He  will  help  me  to  be 
faithful.  I  do  not  depend  on  my  own  strength  at  all. 
I  want  you  to  help  me  pray  for  Colonel  Chester — that 
his  blinded  eyes  may  be  opened  and  his  heart  given  to 
God.  Your  prayers  have  helped  me  so  much  when  I 
was  in  sore  need,  I  believe  you  could  prevail  now." 

"Well,  chile,  ef  it  any  cumfort  ter  yer  ter  feel  dat 
dis  ole  'oman  is  prayin'  fer  yer  fren'  I'll  go  ter  de 
Mahster  constant  an'  treat  ter  be  mussiful.  He  needs 
all  de  mussy  he  can  git,  but,  honey,  don't  you  nebber 
tell  dat  man  yer'll  marry  him  des'  as  long  as  he  'fuses 
ter  bow  ter  de  Lawd.  Yer  know,  chile,  one  er  dem 
good  men  whut  writ  de  scripter  az  dey  got  it  frum  de 
Lawd  (I  beleeb  it  wuz  Isayer,  er  Je'eymiah,  I  fergits 
which — my  'membunce  er  names  ain't  good — but  that  is 
needer  here  ner  dere;  it  in  de  bible,  an'  dat  settle  it), 
say  fer  yer  ter  not  be  yoked  wid  onbeleebers,  an'  when 
God  say  dat  he  meant  fer  his  chillun  ter  heed  him.  Let 
him  alone,  my  baby ;  ef  yer  git  ter  lubbin'  him  so  much 
yer  heart  fairly  burn  when  yer  hear  de  soun'  er  his 

"  'Twas  Paul,  the  apostle,  gave  the  advice  you  quot- 
ed then.  Mammy,  and  I  agree  with  you  in  regard  to 
heeding  it,"  replied  Mabel. 

"Yes,  'twuz  him,  I  'member  now,  an'  do'  Ise  hear 
sum  folks  say  he  nebber  had  no  kin'  er  wife,  yit  we 
knows  he  knowed  whut  he  talkin'  'bout,  en'  dat  he 
wuz  'specially  'structed.  So  he'll  do  fer  er  safe  guid- 
ance in  ebert'ing.  He  had  mo'  sense  dan  all  de  Kunnel 
Chesters  de  worl'  could  hoi',  an'  ef  he  could  trus'  as 
he  did  it  look  lak  dat  po'  worm  er  de  earth  mought 
quit  he  foolishness.  'Scuse  me,  honey,  ef  I  calls  him 
whut  yer  don't  want  ter  hear,  but  it  meks  ole  Mammy 


mad  ter  hear  er  folks  'tendin'  ter  hab  sense  an'  'nyin' 
dere  is  er  God." 

"Well,  don't  let  it  make  you  angry,  for  that  will 
do  no  good,  but  pray  that  he  may  be  brought  to  his 
senses.  If  you  knew  him  apart  from  his  infidelity  you 
would  think  him  a  grand  man." 

"He  may  be  all  dat,"  answered  the  nurse,  "an'  I 
not  lak  him.  Honey,  I  not  got  no  use  fer  enny  pusson 
dat  sez  er  wurd  'gin  my  white  folks,  en'  how  I  gwine 
lak  one  dat  'sputes  de  wurd  er  my  Great  Mahster, 
whut  lubbed  dis  ole  nigga  befo'  she  bawn,  an'  fix  er 
way  fer  me  ter  sum  day  lay  down  deze  aches  'n'  pains 
an'  go  up  'n'  jine  de  white  robe'  th'ong  'roun'  de 
throne,  'n'  praise  Him  eberlastin'ly.  Praise  de  Lam' ! 
Chile,  ole  Mammy  got  ter  whar  she  mus'  shout.  De 
time  ain'  fur  off  now  when  she'll  heer  dem  songs  er 
glory  an'  walk  dem  golden  streets,  'deemed  by  de  blood 
er  de  Lam',  bless  de  Lawd !  Yas,  I  mi'ty  sinner ;  but 
ole  Dicey  gwine  hoi'  out  ef  she  do  keep  fallin' ;  she'll 
rize  ebe'ytime.  De  One  dat  begun  dis  wurk  will  fin- 
ish it  if  I  trus'  Him  ez  I  should,  an',  honey,  it  better 
ter  hab  His  lub  an'  'tection  dan  de  bigges'  man  in  de 
worl'.  So  yo'  let  dat  kunnel  'lone  twel  he  cum  ter  his 
senses  'n'  yo'  'bide  in  de  Rock   Chris'  Jesus." 

"Give  yourself  no  uneasiness,"  said  the  girl.  "I  am 
full  of  faults,  but  for  no  earthly  love  will  I  give  up 
my  eternal  hope.  Now  let  me  read  to  you,  and  then  I 
will  have  to  go  home,  for  mother  counts  the  hours  that 
I  am  away  from  her,  and  Mrs.  Rowland  wants  me 
with  her,  too." 

Mammy  listened  delightedly,  was  profuse  in  her 
thanks,  and  Mabel  had  to  promise  to  return  soon  when 
she  rose  to  leave. 

She  had  told  Mammy  that  the  hurt  caused  by  Allan 
was  gone,  and  to  find  if  any  of  the  old  infatuation  re- 
mained she  went  over  again  the  old  haunts,  recalled 
the  scenes  they  enjoyed  together,  and  the  time  he  bade 


her  good-bye,  when  she  had  felt  as  might  a  Httle  child 
whom  a  strong  hand  suddenly  turns  loose.  The  merry 
youth  of  those  days,  and  the  man,  self-doomed  to  his 
loveless  task,  seemed  to  be  two  separate  beings.  For  the 
frank,  helpful  boy  she  would  always  cherish  kind  rec- 
ollections and  gratitude  for  his  timely  stimulus,  which 
made  her  so  determined  to  secure  an  education ;  but 
for  the  man  who  could  ask  her,  because  he  said  he 
loved  her,  to  give  up  all  she  held  dear,  and  go  delib- 
erately into  sin,  only  feelings  of  deepest  horror. 

Colonel  Chester  would  not  have  done  that,  she 
thought,  heathen  that  he  was  called.  Then  she  thought 
of  Allan,  as  Mammy  spoke  of  him,  and  pitied  him  sin- 
cerely, but  pity  was  all  she  felt.  She  was  free  in- 

The  stay  in  her  home  was  so  delightful  the  time 
flew  by  too  rapidly.  Colonel  Chester  wrote  and  re- 
minded them  that  he  was  not  enjoying  the  days  so 
much,  and  would  be  glad  to  have  them  return.  No  let- 
ter ever  came  to  Mabel,  for  he  could  not  trust  himself 
to  write  to  her,  but  there  were  messages  always.  At 
last  he  wrote  that  he  must  go  abroad  in  the  interest  of 
a  client  and  would  be  gone  a  long  time  hunting  for  old 

"So  you  will  have  to  come  home,  for  Louis  will 
need  you  when  I  leave,"  he  wrote.  "Bring  Miss  Gor- 
don with  you,  and  tell  her  I  say  the  house  will  no 
doubt  be  pleasanter  to  her  with  me  out  of  it.  Nobody 
will  tease  her  then,  and  neither  can  she  engage  in  mis- 
sion work  right  near  her,  for  every  other  member  of 
our  household  is  wonderfully  good,  though  I  some- 
times miss  little  articles,  such  as  cuff-buttons,  rings, 
etc.  Of  course,  it  would  not  do  to  say  any  of  the 
'burning  and  shining  lights'  employed  by  us  ever  even 
looked  covetously  upon  anything." 

Mabel  laughed  as  she  read  that — it  sounded  so  like 


"You  are  going  with  me,  of  course,  Mabel,"  said 
her  friend;  "I  could  not  think  of  returning  without 
you,  especially  since  Rudolf  is  to  be  gone,  and  he  will 
be  so  much  better  satisfied  to  leave  you  with  me,  for  it 
would  be  so  lonely  there  without  you.  I  will  give  you 
all  the  pleasure  I  can." 

"If  my  parents  agree,  I  will  go  with  you,"  replied  ' 
the  girl,  and  Mrs.  Rowland  again  succeeded  in  carry- 
ing her  point. 
■    Before  they  left,  Mrs.  Gordon  said  to  Mabel : 

"Daughter,  from  what  you  say  of  Colonel  Chester, 
I  think  he  must  be  a  man  one  could  admire  and  even 
love  if  thrown  with  him  much.  Child,  is  your  heart 
untouched  by  him?" 

Blushing  under  her  mother's  look,  she  yet  answered 
calmly : 

"If  I  care  for  him  other  than  a  friend  I  am  not 
conscious  of  it." 

"And  he?  Has  all  his  kindness  been  the  expression 
of  simple  friendship?"  next  inquired  Mrs.  Gordon. 

Then  Mabel  told  her  of  his  love  and  her  repeated 
refusals,  and  the  mother  said : 

"I  hope,  my  child,  that  you  will  never  let  brilliant 
worldly  prospects  cause  you  to  form  an  alliance  if  your 
heart  does  not  sanction  it,  for  marriage  without  love  is 
an  unholy  thing.  I  would  prefer  your  not  returning 
with  your  friend,  since  her  brother  is  your  suitor ;  but 
she  is  so  lonely  and  begs  pitifully  for  you,  and  as  he 
will  be  away  you  will  not  be  thrown  with  him.  Then 
he  may  see  someone  abroad  that  he  will  fancy  and 
quit  seeking  your  love.  Your  father  would  hate  to  see 
you  marry  anyone  belonging  to  those  who  opposed  us." 

"Please  don't  tell  him  of  this,"  begged  Mabel,  "for 
it  will  only  make  him  uneasy  for  nothing.  I  am  sure 
Colonel  Chester  and  I  will  never  be  anything  save 

So  she  believed;  and  when  on  reaching  Mrs,  Row- 


land's  home,  she  found  herself  looking  for  him,  and 
disappointed  in  not  seeing  him,  she  was  surprised. 
He  had  not  waited  for  them  to  come,  and  both  felt  lost 
without  him  to  welcome  them.  Others  called  and  tried 
to  make  Mabel  enjoy  her  stay,  but  none  could  fill  the 
place  he  held.  She  grew  restless  and  homesick,  and 
Mrs.  Rowland  was  distressed. 

"Dear  me,  Mabel,"  she  said,  "if  you  get  into  such 
a  state,  and  Rudolf  gone,  what  am  I  to  do?  I  have 
no  one  to  comfort  me,  and  I  was  selfish  enough  to  want 
you  because  you  are  such  a  comfort.  I  miss  Rudolf 

"Forgive  me,  dear  lady,"  begged  the  girl.  "I  am 
selfish  to  let  my  feelings  worry  you  when  you  are 
already  troubled.  I  know%  with  one  brother  in  the 
asylum  and  another  gone,  you  have  enough  to  bear, 
and  you  shall  not  see  me  'mope'  any  more." 

Why  was  it  nobody  could  please  her  as  formerly? 
Gradually  the  truth  dawned  upon  her.  She  loved  him. 
At  last  it  had  come  as  he  said,  but  he  was  not  there 
for  her  to  tell  him,  and  then  the  barriers  between  them 
were  the  same.  She  listened  eagerly  to  Katie's  ac- 
count of  the  master's  loneliness  and  restlessness  while 
they  were  gone.  Once  she  stole  into  his  room,  holding 
her  breath  at  her  temerity.  She  had  been  in  there 
often  when  he  was  in  the  city,  and  it  was  no  more 
than  entering  any  ordinary  apartment  to  see  if  it  was 
in  perfect  order,  but  now^  everything  in  it  possessed 
an  interest  to  her.  A  dressing  robe  hung  where  she 
could  see  it,  and  she  took  it  in  her  arms,  resting  her 
face  on  it,  caressing  the  inanimate  thing  because  it  had 
enveloped  that  dear  form.    And  she  prayed : 

"Oh,  God,  bring  him  back  to  me  and  remove  all 
barriers,  that  I  may  tell  him  his  love  is  returned, 
measure  for  measure." 

The  days  dragged  after  she  knew  that  she  could 
satisfy  his  heart.     Sometimes  she  was  tempted  to  write 


and  tell  him  his  waiting  was  over,  but  it  was  impos- 
sible to  put  it  in  cold  writing  when  he  w^as  silent, 
though  that  silence  was  caused  by  her.  She  grew  shy 
and  reticent,  and  hardly  ever  spoke  of  him  to  Mrs. 
Rowland,  but  she  would  slip  into  the  library  and  stand 
before  his  portrait  and  study  his  face,  and  the  music 
he  liked  she  practiced  most. 

If  Mrs.  Rowland  thought  that  she  cared  for  Colonel 
Chester  she  did  not  mention  it,  but  Dr.  Warren  ven- 
tured sometimes  to  tease  her,  for  he  knew  how  the 
cool  imperturbable  lawyer  had  broken  down  under  his 
grief  w'hen  the  girl  was  ill. 

He  had  asked  her  to  tell  him  when  love  came,  but 
she  could  not  write  it ;  she  would  wait  till  the  full  tones 
of  his  voice  vibrated  on  her  heart  and  she  could  feel 
his  love  for  her.  Oh,  if  he  only  could  know  of  the 
joy  awaiting  him  he  would  hurry  nome.  Then  came 
the  thought : 

"If  I  tell  him  that  I  care  for  him  as  he  wants,  there 
w^ill  be  a  struggle,  for  he  will  want  me  to  marry  him, 
and  I  cannot  as  he  is.  Oh,  Rudolf,  my  heart's  king,  why 
cannot  you  believe  in  the  God  I  worship!  Had  you 
my  place,  I  would  love  Him  for  your  sake,  if  no  more ! 
Am  I  destined  always  to  care  for  those  w^ho  will  not 
believe?  Oh,  Lord,  help  me  now-,  for  I  am  in  dire 
need.  Let  me  do  nothing  Thou  wouldst  condemn,  and 
strengthen  me  that  I  may  do  my  duty." 



After  what  seemed  an  age  to  Mabel,  there  came  a 
letter  saying  his  work  was  nearing  an  end,  and  he 
would  soon  start  for  home. 

"You  hear  that,  Mabel?"  said  Mrs.  Rowland.  "Our 
dear  one  will  soon  start  homeward.  I  say  *our'  be- 
cause if  you  love  me  you  must  also  care  for  my  boy. 
Rejoice  with  me,  child !" 

Rejoice!  When  every  pulse  was  beating  full  with 
joy  already.  Ah,  the  master  was  coming,  and  he 
would  find  a  reward  for  his  patience  and  devotion,  be- 
cause he  had  said  to  win  her  love  would  compensate 
for  all.  The  whole  world  grew  brighter  to  her  and 
songs  burst  from  her  lips,  so  happy  was  she. 

Then  one  day  came  another  letter,  and  it  bore  the 
news  that  he  would  be  home  on  the  "Sea  Gull,"  which 
was  nearly  due,  and  he  wrote : 

"I  am  bringing  you  a  young  sister,  Augusta,  whom 
you  will  love,  so  be  prepared  to  welcome  her  warmly. 
Tell  Miss  Gordon  she  is  almost  as  pretty  as  she  is." 

Mrs.  Rowland  sat  like  one  stunned. 

"Mabel,"  she  said,  "read  this  and  tell  me  what  it 
means  ?" 

The  girl  took  the  letter  and  read  the  fatal  words. 

"His  letter  is  so  brief!"  she  said  through  bloodless 
lips,  and  then  she  could  say  no  more,  for  it  seemed  as 
if  something  clutched  her  heart  and  stopped  every 

"Can  Rudolf  have  married  over  there  and  taken  this 
way  of  telling  me  ?  If  he  were  given  to  jesting  I  would 
think  him  in  fun.    I  had  other  hopes  for  him,  and  now 


they  are  blasted.  What  made  him  so  precipitate  ?  He 
should  have  told  me  of  it  when  he  wrote  before,  for 
surely  they  have  not  met  and  married  since !  I  believe 
Rudolf  is  as  crazy  as  poor  Louis.  Well,  if  they  are  com- 
ing on  the  "Sea  Gull"  they  will  soon  be  here,  and  we 
will  arrange  the  blue  room  for  her,  and  try  to  give  her 
the  welcome  he  wants  her  to  get.  We  will  go  out  and 
make  some  purchases,  for  Rudolf  has  such  exquisite 
taste  he  will  criticise  the  apartment,  and  I  want  some 
little  articles  to  complete  a  bride's  chamber.  Dear  me, 
I  am  so  dazed  I  don't  know  whether  I'll  buy  the  right 
thing  or  not,"  complained  JMrs.  Rowland. 

Mabel  went  about  like  one  in  a  dream,  numbed  by 
the  blow.  By  and  by  she  would  realize  it  all  and  then 
w^ould  come  the  battle.  She  was  so  glad  that  her  maid- 
enly modesty  had  kept  her  from  writing  him  of  the 
change  in  her  feelings.  Now  he  would  never  know, 
and  as  she  had  kept  from  Allan  that  she  cared  for 
him  when  her  young  heart  was  bursting  with  love  and 
grief,  so  she  would  hide  all  from  Colonel  Chester.  The 
same  Helper  she  found  before  was  ready  still,  her 
never-failing  refuge  in  times  of  trouble.  Fool  had  she 
been  to  believe  that  an  earthly  love  could  last,  and  to 
know  that  there  was  a  love  all  true,  tender  and  patient 
soothed  her  poor,  wounded  heart,  for,  with  all  her 
gentleness,  she  had  a  share  of  pride  that  would  help 
to  carry  her  through  and  keep  anyone  from  knowing  of 
her  trouble. 

"As  birds  above  a  wounded,  bleeding  breast, 
Their  bright  plumes  cast," 

she  would  throw  around  her  aching  heart  a  mantle 
that  would  hide  all ;  and  quietly  she  w'ent  about,  helping 
Mrs.  Rowland  to  make  beautiful  the  bride's  room. 

But  it  would  be  impossible  to  stay  there  and  daily 
witness   his   happiness — there,   where   everything  re- 


called  his  vows  of  constancy  to  her.  She  had  dreamed 
of  being  near  and  seeing  him  look  down  in  the  fair 
face  raised  to  his ;  had  seen  the  rare  smile  he  had  only 
for  her  before  he  went  away ;  the  love-light  in  his  eyes, 
and  heard  the  low,  deep  voice  murmur  words  of  love, 
and  she  knew  it  took  more  strength  than  she  had  to 
attempt  to  remain  where  he  lived. 

Feeling  thus,  she  slipped  away  to  another  part  of 
the  city  and  secured  a  place  in  a  dressmaking  estab- 
lishment she  knew  of.  Mrs.  Rowland  knew  nothing 
of  her  determination,  for  to  tell  her  of  it  involved  ex- 
posing her  love,  and  that  lady  would  have  opposed  her 
leaving.  She  could  not  go  to  her  home  then,  for  her 
heart  was  so  sad  they  would  find  out  her  trouble  in 
time,  and,  besides,  Mrs.  Rowland  would  go  there  after 
her.  She  watched  her  opportunity,  had  her  trunk  re- 
moved, and  the  day  the  couple  were  to  come  wrote 
Mrs.  Rowland  a  note,  telling  her  she  had  concluded  to 
leave  and  could  not  bear  to  tell  her  so;  that  she  need 
not  look  for  her  at  her  home,  as  she  would  not  go 
there,  neither  must  she  write  her  parents  that  she  had 
left,  and  some  time  she  would  return  to  her. 

"Thanks  to  your  generosity,"  she  said,  "I  have 
plenty  to  live  upon  for  a  good  while,  and  I  shall  work, 
for  in  that  only  can  I  find  any  consolation.  Don't 
worry  about  me,  please,  and  don't  try  to  find  me.  I 
am  going  where  you  will  not  see  me.  Bless  you,  dear- 
est and  kindest  of  friends,  for  your  kindness  to  me.  I 
trust  my  place  will  be  more  than  filled  and  your  home 
brightened  by  the  young  sister  your  brother  is  bring- 
ing to  you." 

She  stole  into  Mrs.  Rowland's  room  and  laid  the 
note  on  her  table,  then  she  turned  away  from  the  home 
she  loved  so  dearly,  and  never  more  than  when  slie 
bade  it  farewell,  to  face  her  new  life.  A  few  hours 
after  she  left.  Colonel  Chester  arrived  with  his  fair 
companion,  whom  he  introduced  to  Mrs.  Rowland. 


"Augusta,  this  is  our  Elise,  and  how  we  met  I  will 
explain  later  on.  Now,  sisters,  you  must  proceed  to 
'fall  in  love'  with  each  other.  Where  is  Miss  Gordon 
that  she  does  not  give  us  a  welcome?  I  counted  on 
her  to  make  it  pleasant  for  this  girl." 

"I  haven't  seen  Mabel  in  several  hours,"  replied  Mrs. 
Rowland.  "She  left  me  that  I  might  rest  and  be  fresh 
when  our  dear  ones  came.  I  welcome  you,  Elise,  to 
our  home.  Come  to  your  room  and  refresh  yourself, 
and  I  will  find  Mabel."  So  she  led  the  girl  to  her 
apartment,  every  detail  of  which  Mabel  had  arranged 
with  dainty  touches  while  her  heart  ached. 

"How  beautiful !"  exclaimed  Elise.  "Iss  all  this 
lufly  room  all  my  own?" 

"Yours,  dear,"  said  Mrs.  Rowland,  "and  I  am  glad 
you  like  it.  'Tis  none  too  pretty  for  its  occupant.  I 
do  not  wonder  Rudolf  fell  in  love  so  speedily.  Now, 
rest,  change  your  dress  and  be  ready  to  enjoy  tea.  I 
will  go  to  find  our  Mabel,  and  you  shall  see  her  soon. 
Do  you  want  Rudolf  to  do  anything,  or  have  you 
learned  to  make  your  toilette  without  asking  him  what 
dress  you  shall  put  on?" 

"No,"  said  Elise,  "I  try  to  please  his  taste,  but  he 
hass  not  yet  told  me  how  to  dress.  I  hope  to  satisfy 

"And  I  am  sure  you  will,"  returned  Mrs.  Rowland, 
smiling.  Then  she  kissed  the  fair  face,  lifted  to  her 
with  a  wistful  kind  of  look  upon  it,  and  went  in  quest 
of  Mabel.  To  her  own  chamber  she  went  first,  and 
happened  to  see  the  note  left  for  her.  Wondering,  she 
took  it  and  read  it,  then  rang  the  bell  for  a  servant. 

"Tell  Colonel  Chester  to  come  to  me,"  she  com- 
manded when  Katie  appeared,  and  he  came  quickly,  for 
the  girl  said  her  mistress  was  trembling  and  seemed 

"Are  you  ill,  Augusta  ?"  he  asked. 


"Worse  than  that,"  she  replied.  "Read  this  and 
tell  me  what  to  do.    It  is  a  note  from  Mabel." 

He  seized  and  hurriedly  read  it. 

"We  must  find  her,"  he  said,  "if  everything  else  goes 
undone.     Had  she  seemed  dissatisfied?" 

"She  was  not  very  well,"  returned  the  lady,  "but  I 
thought  she  was  contented.  I  don't  understand  her 

"I'll  wire  to  see  if  she  goes  home,"  said  Colonel 

"No,  you  must  not  let  them  know  she  has  left  us. 
She  won't  go  there,  and  it  will  only  alarm  her  parents. 
We  must  keep  it  from  them  till  we  find  her.  Perhaps 
she  will  return." 

He  passed  his  hand  over  his  brow  and  tried  to 
think  as  he  studied  the  note  he  held. 

"I  will  go,"  he  said,  "to  the  different  stations,  and 
see  if  she  has  left  the  city.  Perhaps  I  can  learn  some- 
thing of  her  in  that  way.  Is  not  this  a  sad  home-com- 
ing to  one  who  longed  to  get  back  as  I  have?  Take 
care  of  Elise  and  tell  her  I  will  be  back  ere  long." 

He  went  hurriedly  away,  and  Mrs.  Rowland,  all 
dazed  and  troubled,  was  left  to  comfort  the  young 
stranger.  When  he  returned,  tired  and  worried,  from 
his  fruitless  search,  she  met  him  anxiously. 

"There  is  nothing  to  go  upon,"  he  said,  wearily. 

"You  are  tired  and  worn,  brother,"  the  lady  said; 
"come  and  have  something  to  eat  and  try  to  be  fresh 
for  the  sake  of  Elise.  I  had  her  tea  served  while  you 
were  gone,  for  I  didn't  know  how  long  you  would  be 

He  followed  her  silently,  and  drank  the  steaming 
beverage,  but  no  food  passed  his  lips. 

"Tell  me  about  Elise.  You  wrote  so  little  we  could 
get  nothing  from  that.  I  was  surprised  at  your  falling 
in  love  so  quickly,"  said  Mrs.  Rowland. 


"I  did  not  fall  in  love,"  he  answered.  "What  do 
you  mean,  Augusta?" 

"Then  why  did  you  marry  her?"  she  asked. 

He  stared  at  her  a  moment,  then  he  said : 

"I  am  not  married.     She  is  our  sister." 

"Rudolf,  are  you  crazy?"  cried  the  lady. 

"Not  at  all,  and  if  you  will  give  me  time  I  will  ex- 
plain. You  know  our  father  went  abroad  after  mother 
died,  and  that  he  died  in  Germany.  It  seemed  he  mar- 
ried a  lady  there,  and  Elise  is  their  daughter.  He  did 
not  inform  us  of  his  marriage,  or,  if  he  did,  his  letter 
failed  to  reach  us,  and  he  didn't  live  long.  His  widow 
lived  several  years,  and,  dying,  left  the  child  to  her 
brother's  care.  In  my  hunt  for  old  records  in  the  case 
that  carried  me  off,  I  had  to  go  to  him,  where  I  saw 
the  girl,  was  struck  with  her  appearance,  and  upon 
hearing  her  name,  inquired  and  found  out  her  parent- 
age and  relationship  to  us.  I  asked  her  uncle  to  let  her 
come  home  with  me,  and  he  agreed.  Whereupon  I 
wrote  you  that  hasty  line,  thinking  to  explain  all  when 
I  reached  home,  and  never  supposed  you  would  think 
of  marriage." 

"Well,  as  you  said  you  were  bringing  me  a  young 
sister,  and  as  I  had  no  knowledge  of  father's  mar- 
riage, I  naturally  thought  it  was  a  nice  way  of  telling 
me  you  were  married,"  responded  Mrs.  Rowland. 

"Did  Miss  Gordon  believe  the  same?"  he  inquired. 

"Certainly,  for  what  else  could  she  think?" 

"You  and  she  might  have  waited  for  me  to  explain," 
he  said. 

Mrs.  Rowland  smiled. 

"How  like  a  man!" 

"And  how  like  women  to  jump  at  conclusions! 
Now  here  Miss  Gordon  has  gone  rushing  off  and  I 
will  have  to  find  her,  but  I'd  rather  hunt  for  old  law 
papers.  Dear  me!  What  possessed  her  to  act  this 
way  ?" 


"I  don't  know,"  replied  his  sister.  "You  are  tired 
and  need  to  rest.  Go  to  bed  and  sleep,  and  in  the 
morning  you  can  begin  your  search  afresh.  I  will  try 
to  be  companionable  to  Elise  till  Mabel  comes  back. 
You  brought  a  sweet  sister  home,  and  no  doubt  the 
house  will  be  much  brighter  for  her  coming,  and  if 
Mabel  should  never  return  we  will  not  be  alone." 

"You  are  easily  consoled,"  he  said  sternly.  "I 
thought  nobody  could  take  Miss  Gordon's  place  with 

"Neither  can  it  be  filled,"  she  replied.  "I  miss  Mabel 
more  than  you  can  imagine,  and  shall  not  have  an  easy 
moment  till  she  is  found." 

He  couldn't  imagine  how  she  would  miss  Mabel ! 
She  would  never  know  how  he  longed  for  the  girl. 
How  sick  and  hurt  he  was  over  her  flight.  How  he 
had  yearned  for  her  and  worked  faithfully,  even  when 
ill,  to  get  back  to  his  idol,  and  he  could  almost  fancy 
the  sweet  smile  she  would  give  in  welcome,  even  if  she 
regarded  him  only  as  a  friend.  He  paced  the  floor  of 
his  room,  too  restless  to  try  to  sleep.  John  came  in 
very  quietly  and  handed  him  his  dressing  gown,  and 
lingered  to  help  him  in  any  way  he  could,  for  he  felt 
that  the  master's  heart  was  troubled,  and,  servant  that 
he  was,  he,  too,  was  worried  at  Mabel's  departure. 

After  Colonel  Chester  had  dismissed  him  and  was 
trying  to  rest,  as  he  leaned  back  in  his  easy-chair  near 
the  shaded  drop-light,  he  saw,  glistening  in  the  mellow 
radiance,  a  shining  strand  of  hair  on  the  breast  of  his 
dressing  gown.  He  took  it  and  looked  at  it  curiously, 
holding  it  near  the  light. 

"A  woman's  hair,"  he  said,  "and  on  my  coat !  How 
came  it  here?  And  I  do  believe  it  is  IMabel's!  See 
how  it  clings  to  my  finger,  and  the  richness  of  its  hue ! 
I  would  like  to  know  how  it  got  on  this  garment.  Has 
her  dear  head  rested  on  it,  and  how  came  it  to  do  so  ?" 

A  book  lay  on  the  table  near,  and  he  drew  it  to  him 


to  lay  the  hair  away.  He  opened  at  the  fly-leaf  upon 
which  his  name  was  written,  and  under  his  name  he 
saw  in  Mabel's  writing, 

"Oh,  Heaven!   were  man  constant  he  were  perfect" 


'What  does  this  mean?"  he  said.  "Did  you  doubt 
my  constancy,  darling,  and  did  you  care?  Ah,  Mabel, 
you  are  giving  me  light !  Love  had  come  as  I  said,  and 
I  will  find  you  now  if  it  costs  my  life.  I  understand 
this  quotation,  but  the  hair  is  a  mystery.  Dear  little 
girl,  could  I  see  you  now  I  would  hold  your  beautiful 
head  so  close  to  my  heart  you  would  hear  it  throbbing 
with  love  for  you.  How  could  you  believe  me  false 
after  all  the  proofs  I  had  given  of  devotion?  Where 
are  you  now,  my  love,  while  I  sit  here  longing  for  you  ? 
Augusta  said  for  me  to  sleep,  but  how  can  I  sleep  when 
heart  and  brain  are  on  fire?" 

He  rose  and  paced  the  floor,  trying  to  overcome  his 
impatience  to  be  at  work  hunting  for  Mabel,  and  so 
Mrs.  Rowland  found  him  when  she  came  to  see  how  he 

"Rudolf,"  she  said,  "I  sent  you  to  rest,  and  here 
you  are  pacing  the  floor  like  a  caged  lion." 

"I  can't  help  it,"  he  said.  "If  you  knew  half  how- 
miserable  I  am,  you  would  understand  how  impossible 
it  is  for  me  to  be  still." 

"Brother,"  she  said,  "tell  me  truly,  are  you  not 
more  interested  in  Mabel  than  you  have  let  me  be- 
lieve?   You  act  like  a  man  deeply  in  love." 

"And  so  I  am,"  he  replied.  "I  adore  her,  and  the 
disappointment  and  suspense  are  killing  me." 

"Why  didn't  you  tell  me  of  this  before?"  she  asked. 

"Because  she  gave  me  no  hope,  and  it  would  have 
embarrassed  her  to  have  you  know  it,  and  made  her 
leave,  while  it  was  more  than  I  could  bear  to  lose  her 
altogether,"  he  answered. 


"I  believe  she  found  that  she  loved  you  after  her 
return,  and  that  accounts  for  her  restlessness  and 
homesickness.     She  missed  you,  brother." 

"Do  you  think  so?"  he  asked.  "Precious  child!  I 
must  find  you  now  that  there  is  hope  for  me.  Au- 
gusta, if  my  search  should  be  fruitless,  then  madness 
or  death!" 

"I  pray  it  may  not  be  either.  Rudolf,  my  only 
earthly  comfort  now,  for  my  sake  control  yourself  and 
hope  for  the  best,"  pleaded  his  sister. 

"See  here,"  he  said,  "what  I  found  on  my  coat." 

She  took  the  strand  of  hair  he  held  and  looked  at  it 

"Mabel's  hair!"  she  said.     "How  came  it  there?" 

"I  don't  know,  but  I  rejoice  to  find  it.  Tell  me  of 
her,  my  sister ;  is  she  as  pretty  as  when  I  saw  her  last?" 

"Prettier,  I  think,  and  more  lovable.  I  do  not  won- 
der that  you  love  her,  but  do,  my  dear  boy,  love  with 
some  reason." 

"Louis  and  I  can't  do  that,"  he  said.  It  is  life  or 
death  to  us." 

"But,  dear,  Mabel  can  be  found.  Be  of  good  cheer, 
try  to  rest,  and  save  your  strength  to  hunt  for  her. 
Call  the  police  to  help  you." 

"Don't  you  know  her  well  enough  to  know  if  I  were 
to  put  them  on  her  track  when  she  is  trying  to  hide 
from  me  that  she  never  would  forgive  me?"  he  asked. 

"And  you  are  going  to  try  to  find  her  unaided? 
Poor  bo)^ !  You  certainly  do  have  a  hard  time  winning 
your  happiness.  If  you  and  she  had  not  been  so  still- 
tongued  none  of  this  would  have  occurred,  for  I  would 
have  assured  Mabel  that  you  were  true  and  gotten  her 
to  await  an  explanation  of  your  letter.  Knowing  you 
as  I  do,  I  know  it  would  be  impossible  for  you  to 
change  as  she  believed  you  had,  and  fled,  poor  child,  to 
keep  from  seeing  you  give  another  the  devotion  hither- 
to lavished  on  her." 


"I  know  now  that  my  letter  was  hard  to  understand, 
but  I  had  assured  her  so  often  of  my  constancy  and 
loved  her  so  devotedly,  I  thought  she  could  believe 
nothing  else,  even  if  she  never  loved  me  in  return. 
But,  alas,  my  fond  hopes  are  doomed  to  disappoint- 
ment, and  I  cannot  face  the  future  years.  My  heart 
cries  out  for  Mabel.  I  must  appear  silly  to  you,  sister, 
but  you  can't  know  how  dear  she  is  to  me." 

Mrs.  Rowland  sighed  as  she  answered : 

"Not  to  me,  brother,  for  I,  too,  have  loved  and  have 
seen  the  grave  close  over  my  darling." 

"And  yet  you  lived !  Augusta,  if  I  lose  Mabel  I  will 
not  live,"  he  declared. 

"You  would  be  too  brave  a  man  to  end  your  own 
life.  Think  of  those  who  live  on  through  intense  suf- 
fering for  years  and  never  seek  relief  in  death.  If 
you  believed  in  the  God  Mabel  worships  you  could 
bear  trouble  better.  He  would  help  you.  And,  Ru- 
dolph, I  don't  say  it  to  force  you  in  any  way  or  to  add 
to  what  you  already  endure,  but  I  honestly  believe  if 
you  find  our  dear  one  she  will  never  be  yours  as  long 
as  you  are  what  you  are.  I  heard  her  one  day  when 
she  thought  no  one  was  near,  and  she  was  praying  so 
earnestly  for  you." 

Colonel  Chester's  eyes  grew  moist,  and  he  pulled 
his  moustache  as  he  did  when  at  a  loss  what  to  say. 

"Go  on,"  he  said,  as  his  sister  stopped.  "Teirme 

"I  will  have  to  go  to  Elise  soon,  for  she  wanted  to 
hear  from  you  before  she  slept.  We  must  keep  from 
her  the  cause  of  Mabel's  flight,  for  it  would  grieve  her 
very  much  to  know  her  coming  caused  all  this  trouble. 
I  hope  Mabel  will  see  her  folly  and  return  soon.  She 
knows  how  I  love  and  need  her  and  how  responsible 
I  feel,  having  persuaded  her  parents  to  let  me  bring 
her  here." 

"You  say  my  little  girl  prayed  for  me?"  he  asked. 


"Bless  her  pure  heart !  I  beHeve  if  there  is  any  truly 
good  woman  she  is  that  one." 

"Yes,  she  is  good,"  rejoined  Mrs.  Rowland,  "and  if 
she  could  see  you  the  same  she  would  be  supremely 

"Then,  for  her  sake,  I  wish  I  felt  as  she  does,"  he 

"Oh,  brother,  wish  it  for  your  own  sake.  I  must 
leave  you  now.  Try  to  rest,  and  don't  let  yourself  fear 
that  Mabel  is  gone  to  stay.  You  will  have  to  see 
Louis  as  soon  as  you  can,  and  you  must  be  bright." 

"How  is  the  dear  fellow?"  asked  Colonel  Chester. 
"I  have  been  so  taken  up  by  this  fresh  sorrow  I 
neglected  to  ask  about  him." 

"He  is  doing  very  well,  right  now,  I  believe.  I  am 
more  worried  on  your  account  than  his.  I  want  to  see 
that  look  get  off  your  face.  Good-night,  my  boy,"  and 
tenderly  as  a  mother  might  have  done  she  put  her  arms 
around  the  stalwart  man  and  kissed  him. 

"Good-night,  sister,"  he  said.  "You  have  com- 
forted me  much,  though  until  I  find  my  darling  there 
won't  be  any  real  peace  for  me." 



Anxious  as  Colonel  Chester  was  to  begin  his  search 
for  Mabel,  yet  he  had  to  control  himself  and  give  his 
partner  an  exhaustive  report  of  the  case  they  were  en- 
gaged upon,  so  that  he  might  take  it  all  in  hand.  His 
work  over,  he  said : 

"Now  you  will  have  to  do  this  all  yourself,  for  I 
am  obliged  to  look  after  some  business  I  am  vitally 
concerned  about." 

"Anything  I  can  do  to  help  you?"  asked  the  other. 

"Nothing,  thank  you,  only  to  attend  to  our  law  of- 
fice. I  shall  be  away  a  great  deal  of  the  time,  and 
you  will  have  to  represent  both." 

"To  the  best  of  my  ability.  Get  to  your  work  at 
once,  for  you  are  worried,  I  see,"  his  friend  advised. 

As  Dr.  Warren's  calling  led  him  to  so  many 
places,  and  he  already  knew  of  his  love,  Colonel  Ches- 
ter went  to  him  to  get  his  assistance  in  finding  Mabel. 

"So  she  has  gone !"  exclaimed  the  old  man.  "Well, 
well,  these  women  are  enigmas.  What  is  the  reason 
they  can't  trust  a  man !  Yes,  my  boy,  I'll  do  all  I  can 
in  a  quiet  way  to  find  the  child,  and  when  she  is  found, 
Rudolf,  you  hold  her  while  some'body  runs  for  the 
preacher,  and  have  the  knot  tied  at  once,  lest  she  should 
vanish  again.  I  am  interested  in  her  myself;  have 
been  ever  since  she  pulled  through  that  attack  of  fever. 
But  she  will  keep  out  of  my  way,  because  I  am  your 
family  physician.  Cheer  up,  though,  and  let  us  hope. 
You  deserve  her,  I  think,  and  she  can  do  no  better  than 
to  give  herself  into  your  keeping.  But,  hark  ye,  lad, 
don't  let  this  prey  on  your  mind  till  it  sends  you  to 
Louis,"  warned  the  doctor. 


Elise  met  him  with  her  gentle  sympathy. 

"Haf  you  not  find  her  yet?"  she  asked  in  her  pretty, 
broken  Enghsh. 

"No,  child,"  he  said;  "she  has  flown  far  away." 

"Did  she  not  lofe  you  and  our  sister?"  the  girl 
queried  next. 

"She  was  devoted  to  Augusta,"  he  answered. 

"And  not  to  you!  She  would  haf  to  lofe  one  so 
kint  and  goot." 

"I  am  not  good,"  he  said. 

"Not?"  and  the  blue  eyes  opened  wide.  "You  are 
so  goot  to  me,  and  I  lofe  you  much." 

"Do  you,  little  sister,"  he  smiled.  "Then  you  must 
love  our  Mabel,  too." 

"She  iss  much  trouble  to  you.  I  not  lofe  her  if  she 
keep  you  looking  so  tired  and  worn,"  declared  the  girl. 

"She  is  not  to  blame,"  he  said,  for  he  could  not  hear 
his  idol  charged  with  his  suffering,  and  even  his  sweet 
young  sister  must  be  careful. 

Elise  was  very  winning,  and  made  her  way 
into  the  hearts  of  all  the  household,  but  there 
was  a  place  sacred  to  the  absent  one.  even  she 
could  not  fill.  Mrs.  Rowland  grieved  sorely,  though 
for  her  brother's  sake  she  tried  to  keep  up  hope,  yet  as 
time  passed  and  no  trace  of  Mabel  could  be  found,  she 
lost  heart.  Colonel  Chester  took  a  trip  to  Mabel's 
native  place,  ostensibly  to  see  about  investing 
in  property  there,  but  really  to  see  if  Mabel  might 
not  have  gone  home,  and  there  he  heard  she  was  with 
her  friends  still.  He  kept  well  out  of  sight  of  the  Gor- 
dons, for  he  couldn't  answer  their  questions  about  her. 
He  had  looked  faithfully  the  city  over,  and  sometimes 
he  was  filled  with  hope  by  the  poise  of  a  dainty  head, 
which,  when  turned,  crushed  him  with  disappointment, 
for  no  pansy-blue  eyes  looked  into  his  and  no  rebel- 
lious gold-brown  curls  clustered  around  the  fair  fore- 
head.    The  long,  tiresome  search  was  telling  on  him, 


and  his  sister's  anxiety  increased.  Louis  was  improv- 
ing rapidly,  her  hopes  for  him  growing  brighter  every 
day,  and  now  her  splendid  Rudolf  seemed  to  be  sink- 
ing into  the  gloom  from  which  the  other  was  emerging. 
Why  were  her  boys  doomed  to  such  sadness ! 

During  Mabel's  stay  with  them  he  often  wanted  to 
accompany  her  to  divine  service,  not  that  he  cared  for 
anything  he  might  hear,  but  to  be  with  her.  Yet  fear- 
ing she  might  think  he  was  feigning  an  interest  in  re- 
ligion to  win  her,  and,  knowing  how  she  despised  du- 
plicity, he  never  asked  to  go  with  her;  but  after  her 
flight  he  was  often  at  the  different  churches,  knowing 
if  she  went  out  at  all  it  would  be  there.  Elise  gen- 
erally accompanied  him,  when  near  enough,  and  the 
impression  went  abroad  that  he  had  brought  a  wife 
home  with  him.  Mrs.  Rowland  begged  him  to  give 
up  his  hunt  and  try  to  accept  his  fate,  but  he  answered : 

"I  can't  while  I  have  no  proof  of  her  death  or  mar- 
riage. If  it  worries  you  to  see  me  as  I  am,  take  Elise 
and  travel.  I  must  stay  where  there  is  hope  of  some 
time  seeing  Mabel." 

"Indeed,  we  will  not  leave  you  thus,"  replied  his 
sister,  "and  if  I  can  help  you  in  any  way  I  want  to  do 
it.     I  miss  Mabel,  too,  and  want  her  back  again." 

"You  seem  to  be  quite  happy,  I  think,  and  easily  con- 
soled ;  but,  then,  she  was  not  to  you  all  she  was  and  is 
to  me.  I  am  getting  disheartened  about  my  search," 
he  said  sadly. 

"And  it  is  telling  on  you,"  returned  Mrs.  Rowland. 
"Won't  you  try  to  quit  thinking  as  you  do?  I  hear 
you  at  night,  when  you  should  be  asleep,  and  your  ap- 
petite is  almost  gone.  Even  your  fine  health  will  give 
way  under  the  strain." 

"At  that  rate,  my  looks  will  not  please  my  darling 
when  I  find  her,"  he  said,  "and  she  may  not  like  me. 
Well,  health  and  strength  are  spent  for  her.  Let  me 
alone,  sister;  I  am  satisfied  only  when  seeking  her." 


"I  am  powerless  to  help  you,"  sighed  the  lady.  "Oh, 
that  the  Almighty  would  give  you  strength  and  com- 
fort you !  Rudolf,  you  know  where  Mabel  found  help, 
and  where  she  would  have  you  go  to  find  peace,  and  if 
you  would  ask  divine  guidance  no  doubt  you  would 
be  helped.  Don't  hold  onto  your  poor,  powerless  in- 
fidelity any  longer,  when  your  heart  is  starving  for  the 
comfort  it  should  receive  gladly.  Go  to  the  Lord, 
Mabel's  dear  Lord,  and  ask  Him  to  help  you." 

"Don't  you  think  it  would  be  somewhat  cowardly  in 
me  to  scoff  at  Him  as  I  have  in  my  prosperity,  and 
then,  as  soon  as  trouble  comes,  fly  to  him?" 

"He  may  be  doing  this  to  bring  you  to  Him,  for  His 
ways  are  past  finding  out,  you  know,  and,  knowing 
your  heart  is  wrapped  up  in  that  girl.  He  causes  you 
to  lose  your  idol,  perhaps,  to  draw  you  to  Him.  Mabel 
could  find  the  hand  of  Providence  in  it  somewhere." 

"Dear  child !"  he  said,  "her  faith  was  beautiful,  and 
if  I  ever  do  change  it  will  be  due  to  her  influence." 

"She  was  a  help  to  me,"  said  the  lady.  "Those  par- 
ents builded  better  than  they  knew  when  they  trained 
her  heart  and  mind." 

"She  was  a  revelation  to  me  of  all  that  was  pure 
and  sweet,"  he  said,  "and  if  I  fail  to  find  her  the  sun 
of  my  life  will  go  down  in  darkness." 

"Had  I  dreamed  of  such  as  this  coming  to  you  that 
girl  would  have  stayed  in  her  own  home,  much  as  I 
fancied  her,"  replied  Mrs.  Rowland. 

"Never  speak  of  her  in  that  way  to  me  again  if  you 
love  me,"  her  brother  said,  more  sternly  than  she  ever 
knew  him.  "She  is  not  to  blame,  and  how  know  you 
what  she  may  be  enduring  now,  for  I  feel  that  she 
loved  me,  and  her  heart  carries  a  burden,  too." 

"Poor  child !  that  is  true.  Well,  there  is  only  One 
can  bring  peace  to  you  both,  and  I  pray  He  will  pity 
you.     I  know  where  Mabel  goes  to  be  cheered,  when 


her  heart  is  sad,  and  I  wish  you  would  go  to  Him. 
God  bless  you,  my  brother,  and  open  your  heart  to  re- 
ceive the  comfort  He  alone  can  give." 

Touching  her  lips  to  the  broad  brow,  Mrs.  Row- 
land said  good-night  and  went  softly  away. 



And  what  of  Mabel  all  this  time?  How  had  the 
days  passed  to  her,  separated  from  those  she  loved? 
Was  it  possible  to  hush  the  cry  of  her  hungry  heart? 
No;  every  day  was  a  warfare,  for  she  longed  unceas- 
ingly for  her  dear  ones,  and  to  forget  the  intense  long- 
ing she  worked  untiringly,  thereby  winning  the  good 
will  of  Madame  Dufour  and  of  the  girls  she  often  as- 
sisted. She  kept  out  of  sight  as  much  as  possible,  and 
never  went  out  unveiled,  or,  if  at  night,  she  wore  dark 
glasses  to  protect  her  eyes,  and  her  riotous  curls  she 
pulled  into  subjection. 

As  Mrs.  Rowland  seldom  went  out  she  had  no  fear 
of  meeting  her.  She  had  seen  Colonel  Chester  sev- 
eral times,  and  her  heart  bounded  at  the  sight  of  the 
tall,  erect  figure. 

Once  she  went  with  some  of  the  girls  to  hear  a 
famous  lecturer,  and  was  so  close  to  her  one-time 
lover  she  might  have  touched  him,  but  a  fair-haired 
girl  leaned  on  his  arm,  and  she  said  to  herself,  "I  do 
not  wonder  that  he  loved  her;"  then,  when  she  saw 
his  tender,  protecting  manner,  and  heard  him  speak  her 
name  in  the  low,  rich  tones  she  remembered  so  well 
and  which  vibrated  on  her  heartstrings  as  no  music 
had  ever  done,  she  thought,  "I  know  she  must  love 
him,  and  of  course  they  are  happy;  so  if  life  is  sweet 
to  him  I  can  bear  its  bitterness,  for  I  have  a  consola- 
tion he  knows  nothing  of. 


'Dear  Lord,  if  it  is  best. 

Make  him  more  glad! 
Give  to  him  joy  and  rest; 

I  may  be  sad — 
/  can  most  lonely  be, 
Dear  Lord,  if  only  he 

Is  made  more  glad.' " 

He  had  a  right  to  woo  and  win  that  sweet  girl,  but 
it  was  strange  he  could  change  so  soon;  then  she  re- 
membered that  she  had  given  him  no  hope,  and  it  was 
not  possible  for  a  man  to  love  on  when  he  got  no  en- 
couragement. She  was  to  blame  in  not  knowing  her 
own  heart  sooner,  and  if  she  awoke  to  the  knowledge 
too  late,  why  she  must  bear  the  sad  awakening — and 
alone.  No,  not  alone,  for  there  was  a  never-failing 
source  of  comfort  to  which  she  went  and  received  full 
measure  of  strength.  So  she  lived,  every  day  growing 
gentler  and  sweeter,  drawing  to  her  those  near,  espe- 
cially all  troubled  souls,  for  her  sympathy  was  bound- 
less. In  helping  others  to  bear  their  burdens  her  own 
grew  lighter,  and  she  found  a  degree  of  contentment 
she  had  not  thought  to  reach. 

Believing  Colonel  Chester  to  be  happy  helped  to 
make  her  so,  for  his  welfare  and  happiness  concerned 
her  more  than  all  else. 

It  seemed  fated  that  she  should  live  out  life  alone, 
and,  since  such  must  be,  she  would  brighten  all  other 
lives  as  much  as  possible.  Whenever  there  was  any 
trouble  bet^veen  some  girl  and  her  lover,  to  Mabel  flew 
the  distressed  damsel,  confident  that  help  and  sympa- 
thy would  be  found  there. 

"Mabel,"  sometimes  was  said,  "you  are  so  young  and 
pretty,  it  is  strange  you  never  have  any  love  affairs  to 
tell  us.  Where  are  the  men's  eyes  that  they  do  not  see 
how  lovely  you  are?" 


And  she  smiled  and  said  they  showed  good  sense  to 
pass  her  by  for  the  others. 

*'Love  is  not  for  me,"  she  said,  "and  I  do  not  ex- 
pect it." 

"The  idea  of  a  girl  so  attractive  as  yourself  believ- 
ing that !  It  is  unheard  of,"  and  Mabel  smiled  and  said 
nothing  to  the  exclamations  of  her  friends. 

Once  she  thought  life  held  love  in  abundance  for 
her.  When  she  waited  for  Allan  how  fair  and  prom- 
ising stretched  the  future  before  her,  and  after  she  had 
outgrown  the  bitter  disappointment  he  caused  and 
learned  of  a  deeper,  more  lasting  love,  and  believed 
that  the  years  to  come  held  joy  unthought  of  before, 
came  a  blow  that  shattered  every  earthly  hope.  She 
thought  of  her  old  music  teacher  and  her  buried 
dream.    She  was  not  alone  in  her  experience. 

For  not  many  live  who  have  not  laid, 
With  bleeding  heart,  some  hope  away, 

On  which  all  happiness  was  stayed, 

From  which  came  every  brightening  ray. 

Sad  as  her  lot  was,  it  was  better  than  Eleanor's, 
she  thought,  for  how  could  she  bear  to  know  she  had 
helped  to  close  those  prison-like  doors  on  any  one? 
That  was  worse  than  to  give  up  her  lover  to  another 
woman  worthy  to  be  his  w^ife.  So  far  as  Colonel  Ches- 
ter's temporal  happiness  was  concerned,  she  was  satis- 
fied, but  his  eternal  welfare  lay  on  her  heart,  and 
daily  she  prayed  for  the  noble  man  whom  she  believed 
the  Savior  must  love,  even  as  He  looked  upon  the  young 
ruler  and  loved  him;  and  some  day  the  portals  of  the 
heart,  seemingly  closed  to  the  knock  of  the  Stranger 
without,  would  swing  open  and  a  joyful  welcome  bo 
given  the  loving  Guest.  To  think  of  him  as  being  lost 
was  too  bitter,  and  earnestly  she  prayed,  "Oh,  God, 
whatever  thou  dost  call  upon  me  to  suffer  I  will  bear, 
but  Spare  him  whom  I  loved.    He  must  be  saved. 


"  'Dear  Lord,  both  he  and  I 

Are  far  from  strong; 
To  each  of  us  be  nigh; 

The  way  is  lon'g. 
Perhaps  he  needs  not  me — 
Jesus,  we  both  need  thee; 

Make  us  more  strong.'  " 

Sometimes  in  thinking  about  him  she  felt  that  she 
would  give  her  life  to  have  his  hands  clasp  hers  in  the 
old  way  and  hear  the  full-toned  voice  murmur,  "Ma- 
bel !"  as  he  once  called  her.  But  there  was  sin  in  such 
thoughts,  so  she  turned  away  from  the  sweet  dream 
and  sought  her  Helper,  and  peace  came  to  the  troubled 
heart,  showing  itself  in  the  fair  face  and  making  her 
even  more  lovely,  for  sorrows  rightly  borne  do  bring 
out  the  beauty  of  the  soul,  and  there  is  no  other  so 

Beauty  of  coloring  will  fade,  and  contour  lost  its 
symmetry,  but  a  pure,  devout  spirit  possesses  a  charm 
that  never  leaves. 




And  hand  to  hand  in  greeting. 

The  past,  with  all  its  fears, 

Its  silence  and  its  tears. 

Its  lonely,  yearning  years. 
Shall  vanish  in  the  moment  of  the  meeting." 

Long  after  Mabel  had  struggled  into  peace  and 
comparative  happiness,  content  to  take  up  her  burden 
and  bear  it  patiently,  as  becomes  one  who  believes  the 
hereafter  holds  recompense  for  all  suffering  rightly 
endured  during  the  earthly  pilgrimage,  there  came  a 
shock  that  almost  stunned  her. 

While  waiting  for  an  order  from  Madame,  she 
picked  up  the  paper  and  glanced  over  it,  and  her  own 
name  among  the  advertisements  caught  her  attention, 
and  she  read : 

"Mabel,  for  the  love  of  heaven,  come  to  me.  We 
fear  our  brother  will  die,  and  I  need  you.  Come  im- 

Mrs.  Rowland  in  trouble  and  needing  her!  She 
mnust  go !  It  must  be  poor  Louis  who  was  dying. 
She  said  our  brother.  Perhaps  Colonel  Chester  and 
his  wife  were  out  of  the  city.  But  if  he  was  in  the 
house  she  must  go  to  her  friend.  So  to  Madame  she 
went  and  told  her  that  a  very  dear  friend  of  hers  was 
in  trouble,  had  sent  for  her,  and  she  would  have  to  go. 

"You  will  come  back  soon  ?  I  shall  miss  you,"  said 
Madame,  "and  your  associates  will  want  you," 


"I  hate  to  leave  you  and  them,"  the  girl  answered. 
"You  have  all  been  so  kind  to  me." 

"Then  prove  that  you  like  us  by  returning  soon. 
Here  are  your  wages,  and  I  must  say  you  have  earned 
them,"  said  Madame. 

Mabel  thanked  her,  and  turned  to  say  good-bye  to 
some  of  her  friends.  Then  a  few  preparations  and 
she  was  on  her  way  to  Mrs.  Rowland.  As  she  went 
up  the  broad  steps  she  laid  her  hand  caressingly  on 
the  couchant  brazen  lions.  Everything  was  dear  to 
her,  and  the  flood  of  memories  that  rushed  over  her 
as  she  stood  once  more  within  the  dear  familiar  room 
almost  overpowered  her.  A  strange  servant  answered 
her  ring  at  the  door  and  showed  her  in,  taking  her 
message  to  Mrs.  Rowland  that  a  lady  wished  to  see 
her.  She  had  dropped  her  veil,  and  as  the  lady  came 
in  she  raised  it,  when  Mrs.  Rowland  nearly  fell. 

"Mabel !"  she  gasped.  "Where  did  you  come  from 
and  why  have  you  stayed  away  so  long?" 

"I  came  from  Madame  Dufour's,"  she  said.  "Dear 
Mrs.  Rowland,  will  you  not  say  you  are  glad  to  see 
me?    I  obeyed  your  summons  immediately." 

"Glad !  Child,  the  word  will  not  tell  how  I  feel. 
I  am  overjoyed.  Oh,  Mabel,  Rudolf  searched  and 
hunted  everywhere  for  you,  and  when  it  all  seemed  in 
vain  his  health  gave  way,  and  he  lies  now  at  death's 

Colonel  Chester  dying!  She  had  not  once  thought 
of  death  in  connection  with  him.  She  pressed  her 
hand  to  her  heart,  and  with  the  other  raised  her  hand- 
kerchief to  her  lips,  for  she  could  not  speak  then. 

Mrs.  Rowland  saw  that  she  was  very  white. 

"You  are  sick,  child,"  she  said.  "I  will  get  you 

But  Mabel  shook  her  head. 

"I  am  only  tired.  Please  go  on  and  tell  me  of  your 
trouble.    I  supposed  'twas  Mr.  Louis  Chester  of  whom 


you  spoke,  and  that  possibly  your  brother  was  away 
and  you  needed  me  to  help  you." 

"I  need  you,  yes;  but  Rudolf  needs  you  more  than 
I,"  said  her  friend. 

"Cannot  his  wife  minister  to  him?    I  came  to  help 

"Mabel,  he  is  not  married,  and  has  never  loved  any- 
one save  you." 

"Not  married!"  exclaimed  the  girl.  "Has  all  our 
suffering  been  for  naught?" 

"Yes,  dear,  and  the  mistake  has  cost  my  poor  boy 
almost  his  life.  Dr.  Warren  says  if  anyone  can  help 
him  it  is  you,  and  even  you  may  be  too  late.  The  bit- 
ter disappointment,  together  with  some  low  fever  he 
has  contracted,  seems  to  sap  his  life.  I  will  take  you 
to  him  now,  for  every  moment  is  precious !  When  you 
have  seen  our  dear  one  I  will  explain  to  you  all  about 
Elise,  whom  you  will  love.  She  already  loves  you.  Be 
very  careful,  dear,  for  any  violent  excitement  may  be 
too  much  for  him  in  his  feeble  state.  Oh,  Mabel,  child, 
God  in  His  mercy  grant  you  have  not  come  too  late! 
My  poor  boy  said  if  he  were  dying  and  you  but  called 
his  name  'twould  bring  him  back." 

Opening  the  door  softly,  she  led  the  way  into  the 
sick  man's  chamber,  Mabel  following,  her  heart  beat- 
ing almost  to  suffocation.  The  last  time  she  saw  him 
he  was  in  full  possession  of  his  manly  beauty  and 
vigor,  and  now  to  see  him  there,  so  pale,  so  still,  hardly 
a  breath  stirring.  She  thought  he  was  dead,  and,  un- 
mindful of  the  nurse  or  Mrs.  Rowland,  she  fell  on 
her  knees  beside  him. 

"Oh,  my  darling,  my  darling!"  she  exclaimed,  "have 
I  come  too  late?  Rudolf,  my  love,  my  life,  speak  to 

At  the  sound  of  the  loved  voice  he  opened  his  eyes 
and  smiled  faintly.  She  saw  his  lips  move,  and,  lean- 
ing over  him,  caught  the  whispered  : 


"Mabel,  my  own !    At  last,  at  last !    Thank  God !" 

She  clasped  her  hands  in  an  ecstacy  of  joy,  the  happy 
tears  flowing  down  her  face. 

"Oh,  you  said,  'Thank  God !'  Now,  indeed,  is  my 
cup  of  happiness  full!    Dear  Lord,  I  thank  Thee!" 

And  again  she  fell  on  her  knees.  They  knew  she 
was  pouring  out  her  heart  in  thanksgiving  to  her 
Savior,  and  Colonel  Chester  laid  one  thin  hand  on  her 
head  as  she  knelt.  As  she  raised  her  radiant  face  and 
seated  herself  by  him,  she  took  his  hand  in  both  hers — 
that  strong  hand  that  had  saved  her  from  death  twice, 
now  so  weak  and  thin.  She  held  it  to  her  mouth,  kiss- 
ing it  softly,  Mrs.  Rowland  smiling,  with  brimming 
eyes,  all  the  while. 

"Darling."  said  the  sick  man,  "have  you  no  kisses 
for  my  lips  ?" 

Mrs.  Rowland  saw  that  she  blushed  and  hesitated, 
so  turned  away,  saying : 

"Remember,  dear,  how  near  we  came  to  losing 

Then  Mabel  leaned  over  and  pressed  her  warm, 
glowing  lips  to  his  in  their  first  meeting. 

"I  will  live  now,"  he  said.  "I  have  something  to 
live  for.  You  love  me,  Mabel,  and  3^ou  came  with  the 
sweet  story.  Dear,  I  am  too  weak  to  talk  much,  but 
you  tell  me  all." 

"It  is  not  possible  to  tell  all,"  she  said.  "How  I 
longed  to  see  you  after  I  found  that  love  had  come  as 
3-ou  said  it  would.  I  loved  you  then,  but  now  that  you 
acknowledge  your  Creator  you  are  doubly  dear.  I 
must  not  talk  much  to  you,  but  I  will  hold  your  pre- 
cious hand  in  mine  and  be  near  you,  and  when  we  can 
talk  I  will  tell  you  all.  Try  to  rest  now,  for  Dr.  War- 
ren will  keep  me  out  if  you  are  worse  when  he  comes." 

"I  hear  his  step  now,"  said  Mrs.  Rowland,  as  in  he 
came  and  greeted  Mabel  joyously. 

"Well,  Miss  Prodigal,"  he  said,  "I  am  glad  to  see 


you  in  your  proper  place,  but  don't  excite  this  chap  or 
you  might  kill  him,  and  you  have  come  near  enough  to 
that  already.  A  pretty  route  you  have  led  us  all,  for 
at  my  time  of  life  it  is  a  serious  thing  to  be  hunting 
for  runaway  girls.  Not  only  have  you  hurt  Rudolf 
but  you  worried  me  considerably." 

"For  which  I  humbly  beg  pardon,"  replied  Mabel, 
smiling.  "But,  doctor,  give  yourself  no  uneasiness 
about  my  hurting  your  patient;  he  already  looks  bet- 

The  old  man  laid  his  fingers  on  Colonel  Chester's 

"Hum,  yes ;  his  pulse  is  fuller  and  his  face  brighter. 
Oh,  he  has  the  right  physician  now,  so  I  can  quit,  and 
you,  my  lady,  may  give  up  everything  to  get  him  back 
to  health.  You've  got  something  to  live  for  now,  eh, 

Colonel  Chester  smiled  in  answer. 

"Yes,  ma'am,"  the  doctor  continued,  "you  very 
nearly  killed  this  boy,  while  his  poor  sister  here  has 
had  enough  trouble  to  finish  silvering  her  fine  hair, 
and  if  I  had  any  worth  speaking  of  to  turn  gray  it 
w^ould  be  white.  I  shouldn't  be  surprised  if  my  bald- 
ness w'as  not  in  part  attributable  to  your  wild-goose 

"I  didn't  fly  southward,  sir,"  said  Mabel. 

"You  didn't!  Then  where  have  you  been  all  this 

"In  New  York." 

"And  Rudolf  and  I  have  hunted  everywhere  for 
you !  Well,  you  know  how  to  hide.  Now  that  you 
are  found,  pray  stay  in  sight." 

"I  suppose,"  she  said  smilingly,  "you  want  to  keep 
the  few  locks  of  hair  you  have  left." 

"Yes;  and  more  than  all,  I  want  to  keep  this  fine 
fellow  out  of  his  grave."     Then,  dropping  his  light 


tone,  "Ah,  my  child,  you  little  know  what  he  has  suf- 

"I  see,"  she  answered  softly,  "and,  doctor,  he  is  not 
alone  in  that." 

"Yes,  child,  we  all  know  you  have  felt  this,  and  you 
did  what  you  believed  right.  You  and  Rudolf  must 
never  part  again  in  this  world." 

Colonel  Chester  looked  at  her  and  she  leaned  down. 
"You  hear  that,"  he  said.  "Never  again  shall  you 
leave  me." 

"I  will  not,"  she  replied;    "I  am  yours  forever." 

"Now,  Rudolf,  I  must  talk  sick  room  talk  to  you 
a  while,"  interposed  Dr.  Warren.  "Let  this  girl 
go  and  see  Miss  Elise  and  the  other  members  of  the 
household,  then  she  can  come  back  to  you  and  take 
you  into  that  place  called  by  lovers  'paradise,'  and 
which  I  advise  you  to  stay  in  as  long  as  possible.  I 
have  been  in  lover's  'paradise'  myself  once  upon  a 
time,  old  and  bald  as  I  am,  and  have  not  lost  sympathy 
for  poor,  foolish  folks." 

"Don't  stay  long,"  said  Colonel  Chester,  as  Mabel 
turned  to  go  with  Mrs.  Rowland. 

"Elise  is  very  anxious  to  see  you,"  said  the  latter  as 
they  went  in  quest  of  the  others,  "and  she  can't  imder- 
stand  why  one  so  loved  could  have  left  us  as  you  did. 
We  have  never  explained  it  as  we  believed  it  to  be, 
for,  being  of  the  nature  she  is,  it  would  have  troubled 
her  to  death  when  she  saw  how  grieved  we  were  and 
how  Rudolf  sank  under  his  sorrow." 

"She  must  never  know,"  rejoined  Mabel.  "I  was 
to  blame  in  not  trusting  Colonel  Chester  more,  but  it 
was  so  hard  to  understand." 

"Yes,  it  puzzled  me,  too,  and  I  didn't  blame  you 
after  I  guessed  the  cause  of  your  flight.  If  you  and 
Rudolf  hadn't  been  so  shy  and  still-tongued  none  of 
it  would  have  occurred.  He  gave  up  entirely  when 
his  strength  failed,  and  seemed  to  sink  into  an  apathy 


that  alarmed  me,  and  then  I  advertised,  hoping  against 
hope  that  you  might  see  it  and  come  to  me.  Ah, 
IMabel,  you  hold  his  all  in  your  keeping.  Deal  gently 
with  him,  dear." 

With  brimming  eyes  the  girl  looked  her  friend  in 
the  face  as  she  said : 

''His  happiness  is  dearer  tc  me  than  my  life.  I 
speak  to  you,  dear  friend,  as  to  my  own  precious 
mother,  for  you  know  everything  now.  I  wish  I  had 
let  Colonel  Chester  tell  you  sooner,  but  somehow  I 
feel  that  all  this  has  not  been  in  vain.  How  know  we 
but  the  sorrows  he  has  known  were  heaven-sent?  I 
prayed  so  earnestly  for  his  salvation,  and  if  God  an- 
swered my  prayer  in  this  way  I  shall  not  murmur, 
even  if  in  gaining  what  was  asked  He  led  me  through 
deep  waters.  Both  of  us  needed  the  trials  we  have 
had,  else  a  merciful  Providence  had  never  sent  them." 

"Rudolf  believes  so  now,  I  think,  and  my  heart  re- 
joices more  than  words  can  tell.  He  says  with  you  to 
help  him  he  can  be  a  good  man." 

"And  he  so  noble,  so  far  above  me!  Ah,  my  heart 
bows  in  prayer  for  help  from  on  high,  that  I  may  be 
an  humble  instrument  in  leading  him  onward  and  up- 
w^ard,  since  he  looks  to  such  a  poor,  frail  creature  as 

"My  dear,"  smiled  Mrs.  Rowland,  "he  looks  upon 
you  as  the  incarnation  of  all  that  is  good  and  pure, 
and  I  bless  the  Lord  that  he  has  faith  in  you.  Now 
we  will  see  Elise." 

The  young  girls  greeted  each  other  pleasantly,  and 
Elise  said : 

"I  haf  much  joy  in  welcoming  you  home,  and  hope 
you  will  not  leaf  us  again.  Our  dear  brother  hass 
pined  for  you.  Why  did  you  go  when  he  lofed  you 
so  much?" 

"  'Twas  a  misunderstanding,  dear,"  said  Mrs.  Row- 
land, "but  all  is  right  now,  and  our  brother  will  soon 


be  well.    Now,  tell  Mabel  about  yourself  and  how  you 
came  to  meet  Rudolf." 

So  the  girl  talked  in  her  pretty  way  to  the  eager  lis- 
tener, and  told  her  of  how  he  had  spoken  of  Miss  Gor- 
don and  the  friends  she  and  Elise  were  to  be,  "and 
when  we  came  Miss  Gordon  was  not  here,  and  my 
kint  brother  hass  worn  himself  away  looking  for  her. 
She  not  going  to  leaf  us  any  more,  eh  ?" 

"I'll  answer  for  her,"  put  in  Mrs.  Rowland.  "No. 
We  all  need  her,  even  to  the  servants.  When  have 
you  heard,  Mabel,  from  those  dear  home  folks?  Did 
they  ever  know  of  your  flight?" 

"I  kept  that  from  them,  and  wrote  as  though  with 
you,  and  when  my  letters  came  and  mother  sent  kind 
messages  to  you,  it  was  terrible  to  me  not  to  be  able 
to  run  and  tell  you.  I  will  have  to  go  to  see  them  be- 
fore very  long." 

"Not  till  you  get  our  boy  well  and  strong;  then  we 
will  go.  He  is  your  patient  now,  and  you  must  cure 
him,"  replied  Mrs.  Rowland. 

And  he  was  her  patient,  wanting  no  other  nurse  near 
him,  and  content  to  have  her  sit  and  hold  his  hand,  the 
very  silence  eloquent  to  both.  When  he  grew  stronger 
he  told  her  of  his  anxiety  to  see  her  and  his  dismay 
at  her  flight;  of  his  long,  fruitless  search,  and  bitter 
sorrow  when  he  realized  she  was  lost  to  him. 

She  pitied  him,  then  said : 

"And  all  that  time  I  was  suffering,  too.  But  I  had 
help  you  knew  nothing  of,  for  the  faith  you  ridiculed 
when  I  first  knew  you  enabled  me  to  bear  my  trou- 

"I  beg  your  pardon  for  my  rudeness  and  thank  you 
for  defending  your  faith  as  you  did,  for  your  fear- 
lessness impressed  me  then,  and  your  purity  and  sin- 
cerity won  upon  me  in  a  way  I  could  not  resist.  When 
I  was  in  my  great  trouble,  hunting  for  you,  I  went  where 
you  were  most  likely  to  be  found — the  church — where 


T  heard  words  that  somehow  comforted  me,  and  gradu- 
ally my  heart  opened  to  the  truth.  Augusta  said  you 
prayed  for  me,  and  I  could  fancy  you  kneeling  in 
prayer  for  me,  and  it  did  me  good.  Dear  little  girl, 
do  you  know  Heaven  sent  you  to  me  to  be  my  salva- 

"Colonel  Chester,"  she  began,  but  he  interrupted 
her  with : 

"I  beg  pardon,  but  whom  did  you  address  then. 
If  you  spoke  to  me,  I  must  tell  you  that  I  am  Rudolf 
to  you.  Tell  me,  Mabel,  when  you  first  discovered  you 
cared  for  me!" 

"Upon  my  return  w4th  Mrs.  Rowland  the  last  time 
we  went  home.  I  missed  you  so  much  and  longed  to 
see  you." 

"Why  did  you  not  write  me  the  sweet  message? 
'Twould  have  been  bliss  to  me." 

"I  could  not,"  she  said,  "and  then  I  wanted  to  see 
you  when  you  found  out  all." 

"Give  me  that  box  on  my  dressing  table,  please," 
he  said.     "I  have  something  to  show  you." 

She  gave  it  to  him  and  he  took  therefrom  the  little 
purse  he  had  treasured  so  long. 

"My  poor  little  purse !"  she  exclaimed.  "Have  you 
kept  it  all  this  time?" 

"Yes,  and  treasured  it ;  there  is  something  else  here. 
Darling,  how  came  this  shining  hair  on  the  bosom  of 
my  gown?" 

She  blushed,  as  she  answered: 

"I  stole  into  your  room  one  day.  I  wanted  to  see 
you  so  very  much,  and  seeing  your  gown  I  put  my 
arms  around  it  and  laid  my  head  on  the  breast,  and 
that  hair  must  have  caught  there." 

"To  be  kept  for  a  ray  of  hope  to  me,"  he  said.  "I 
guessed  that  night  that  you  loved  me.  Was  it  be- 
cause of  your  love  you  left?  I  deserved  better  treat- 
jnent  from  you." 


"I  could  not  bear  to  stay  and  see  another  take  my 
place,"  she  said,  very  low,  and  with  downcast  eyes. 

"After  telling  you  so  often  that  a  certain  little  hard- 
to-conquer-rebel-girl  was  the  only  person  capable  of 
filling  that  place,  you  could  believe  me  so  changeable?" 

"I  believe  in  you  now  entirely,"  she  answered,  "but 
then  you  had  no  hope  and  were  not  to  be  blamed. 
After  I  saw  you  with  Elise,  and  noticed  her  beauty,  I 
fully  believed  she  was  your  wife." 

"You  saw  me  with  Elise?    Where  were  you?" 

"'Twas  when  Dr.  Blank  lectured.  I  was  so  close 
to  you  once  I  could  have  touched  you." 

"And  you  were  that  near  and  let  me  pass  on,  when 
my  heart  was  hungering  for  you.  Mabel,  you  were 
cruel !"   he  exclaimed. 

"Remember,  I  believed  you  married,  and  no  good 
could  have  come  of  speaking." 

"What  a  'Comedy  of  Errors'  we  have  had,"  he  said. 
"Well,  thank  Heaven  all  that  is  over." 



As  Colonel  Chester  gained  strength.  Dr.  War- 
ren recommended  a  daily  drive  in  the  balmy  air  and 
life-giving  sunshine,  saying  to  him : 

"John  will  drive  carefully,  and  Miss-  Gordon  can  go 
with  you." 

"Will  you  ride  with  me?"  asked  the  invalid,  smil- 
ing.    "You  refused  once,  you  know." 

"The  circumstances  were  very  different,"  she  replied. 
"I  will  go  now,  with  pleasure.  Shall  not  Elise  accom- 
pany us?" 

"Not  yet,  please,"  he  said,  and  Dr.  Warren  drew 
down  his  face  comically  at  the  reply  and  Mabel's 

During  one  of  their  rides  they  passed  where  a  house 
had  been  burned,  and  Mabel  said : 

"I  never  see  such  ruins  but  a  feeling  of  sadness 
comes  over  me,  and  I  think  of  my  own  lost  home." 

Her  companion's  thin  cheek  burned,  and  he  turned 
to  her,  saying: 

"Mabel,  I  have  a  confession  to  make  to  you.  /  had 
your  home  burned,  and  no  act  of  my  life  has  been  more 
bitterly  repented.  Every  allusion  you  have  made  to 
it  went  like  a  dagger  to  my  heart,  and  I  would  give 
anything  to  undo  that  hasty  act.  I  repented  before 
you  came,  and,  after  knowing  and  loving  you,  it  has 
been  a  horrible  memory  to  me,  while  I  wanted  to  con- 
fess it  all  this  time  but  had  not  courage." 

"I  have  known  it  from  the  first  of  my  stay  here, 
even  before  meeting  you,"  she  answered  quietly.  "I 
heard  you  tell  your  sister  about  it  when  I  unintention- 
ally listened  to  a  conversation  between  you." 

"And  that  is  why  you  refused  me  so  often  when  I 
offered  my  love?"   said  he. 


"Your  infidelity  and  that  act,"  she  said.  "I  did  feel 
bitter  toward  you  a  long  time,  but  your  kindness  and 
nobility  won  me  at  last.  Besides,  I  thought  if  God 
could  pardon  the  way  you  treated  his  dear  Son,  I,  a 
sinner,  too,  might  forgive  a  fellow-one  for  making 
us  homeless." 

"Let  me  give  you  another  home,"  he  begged;  "it 
shall  be  as  pretty  as  the  one  I  destroyed,  and  I'll  try 
to  make  you  forget  the  sad  scene,  and  also  to  win  your 
parents'  regard." 

"My  parents  know  nothing  of  the  part  you  played 
in  their  lives.  They  think  you  a  good  man  for  saving 
me  as  you  did.  Father  preferred  my  marrying  at 
home,  but  I  think  he  will  be  satisfied  now  that  he 
knows  you." 

"Are  you?"  he  asked. 

"Perfectly,"  she  said.  "You  had  but  one  fault  in 
my  eyes  and  that  is  gone." 

He  raised  her  hand  to  his  lips. 

"Dear,  pure-hearted  child,"  he  said,  "God  deal 
with  me  as  I  do  with  your  trust.  Oh,  Mabel,  you  can 
never  know  how  you  fill  my  heart." 

One  day,  some  time  after  the  ride,  as  Colonel  Ches- 
ter w^as  reclining  upon    a    sofa    in  Mrs.   Rowland's 
boudoir,  lazily  enjoying  the  society  of  the  ladies,  Mrs. 
Rowland  said  to  him : 

"Rudolf,  since  you  can't  bear  Mabel  out  of  your 
sight  why  not  be  married  at  once?" 

The  color  surged  over  Mabel's  face,  Elise  laughed 
softly,  and  Colonel  Chester  smiled,  as  he  answered : 

"I  guess  of  all  present  I  am  the  most  anxious  for 
that,  but  I  have  enough  vanity  to  want  to  be  a  decent 
looking  groom,  and  not  the  pale,  cadaverous  looking 
creature  I  am  now,  when  our  marriage  takes  place. 
Besides,  I  want  it  to  come  off  in  the  church  she  and  I 
went  to  first,  and  by  that  old  minister.  What  do  you 
say,  Mabel?" 

"I  thought,"  she  said,  blushing,  and  speaking  shyly. 


"that  I  would  be  married  in  my  dear  old  home  if  I 
ever  wedded  at  all.     I  wanted  my  homefolks  present." 

"Well,  we  can  send  for  Father  and  Mother  Gordon 
to  come  here,"  he  said. 

"But  there  are  the  others,"  she  suggested. 

"They  will  have  to  get  along  without  seeing  us. 
I  just  can't  let  you  leave  me  any  more,"  he  declared. 
"Augusta,  you  get  to  work  looking  up  pretty  things, 
and  get  the  softest,  whitest,  silkiest  dress  to  be  found, 
and  a  long  veil." 

"Stick  to  your  law  books,  Rudolf,  and  keep  out  of 
our  province,"  advised  his  sister.  "I'll  get  something 
pretty  enough  to  please  you,  and  will  enjoy  the  get- 
ting. I  was  denied  the  pleasure  of  seeing  my  other 
dear  boy  made  happy,  and  to  witness  your  joy  gives 
me  great  pleasure.  It  is  time  we  were  at  work,  Mabel. 
Don't  blush  so,  child;  you  are  fulfilling  the  fate  of 
nearly  all  girls." 

Amid  the  laughter  of  all,  Mabel  escaped  from  the 

When  Mrs.  Rowland  mentioned  it  again  she  said : 

"I  would  like  to  get  my  things  from  Madame  Du- 
four,  if  you  do  not  care." 

"Certainly,  child,  if  you  wish,"  was  the  reply.  So 
the  girls  and  Airs.  Rowland  started  out  on  the  mission 
about  which  the  lover  was  growing  impatient. 

Madame  gave  Mabel  a  warm  welcome. 

"You  have  stayed  long,"  she  said,  "and  we  missed 

"I  have  not  come  back  to  stay  now,"  said  the  girl. 
"We  have  come  to  get  you  to  prepare  an  outfit 
for  me." 

"Ah!"  said  the  woman,  quickly;  "so  the  friend  in 
trouble  was  a  lover.  Yes,  child,  it  will  give  me  pleas- 
ure to  arrange  your  trousseau,  and  it  shall  be  perfect 
in  fit  and  style." 

"Tell  her,  Mabel,"  interposed  Mrs.  Rowland,  "what 
Rudolf  says  the  dress  must  be." 

'MABEL    GORDON  207 

"Are  you  related  to  Mabel?"  inquired  Aladame. 

"I  am  her  friend,  and  the  sister  of  the  gentleman 
she  will  marry,"  Mrs.  Rowland  replied. 

"Might  1  ask  his  name?" 

"Colonel  Rudolf  Chester." 

"Indeed !  I  certainly  congratulate  you,  Mabel.  You 
quiet  thing!  Little  did  I  think  of  such  as  this  when 
you  were  here.  Colonel  Chester's  sweetheart  in  my 
employ!    Well,  well !" 

"You  know  him,  then,"  said  Mabel. 

"He  is  my  lawyer  when  I  need  one,  and  a  kind 
friend  besides.  Tell  him  I  wall  indeed  make  you  a 
beautiful  dress.  I  wish  I  had  known  it  when  you  were 
here.  And  now,"  turning  to  Elise,  "when  shall  we  do 
this  for  you  ?" 

"I  haf  no  lofer,"  answered  the  girl,  and  Mrs.  Row- 
land added,  "I  shall  keep  her  in  Mabel's  place." 

As  they  neared  home  on  their  return,  whom  should 
they  meet  but  Allan  Harvey,  whose  face  lighted  joy- 
fully at  sight  of  Mabel.  He  spoke  courteously  to 
Mrs.  Rowland,  bowed  low  to  Elise  when  presented  to 
her,  but  his  hand  closed  warmly  over  Mabel's,  who 
was  heartily  glad  to  see  him,  and  seeing  her  gladness 
and  knowing  he  was  associated  with  her  home,  J\Irs. 
Rowland  said : 

"I  am  going  to  treat  you  as  ]\Irs.  Gordon  would 
were  you  at  her  door.  Come  in  and  be  one  of  us  at 
dinner,  and  talk  to  Mabel  about  those  dear  people  you 

He  looked  at  Mabel. 

"Do  come,"  she  said.  "Oh,  it  seems  so  good  to 
meet  someone  I  knew  long  ago." 

"Thank  you  both,"  he  said.  "I  shall  accept  your 
kindness  gladly,  for  I  wanted  to  see  you  all,  and  then 
I  am  now  a  kind  of  floating  atom  of  humanity," 

"Your  wife?"    asked  Mabel  gently. 

"Is  dead,"  he  answered.  "She  died  in  Italy  six 
months  ago." 


They  went  into  the  house  and  Mabel  left  him  with 
Elise,  whose  blue  eyes  filled  with  pity  when  he  spoke, 
while  she  flew  to  speak  to  Colonel  Chester  and  tell 
him  that  her  old  friend  had  called.  He  grumbled  a 
little  to  give  her  up  to  anyone  else  then,  but  she 
Inughingly  told  him  when  all  her  life  was  to  be  spent 
with  him,  he  might  spare  an  old  friend  a  few  hours. 

Of  course  Mabel  and  Allan  were  left  to  talk  over 
their  loved  topics,  and  during  the  conversation  he 
told  her  of  Lucile's  death,  and  his  loneliness. 

"I  came,"  he  said,  "hoping  to  find  you  free,  and  to 
try  to  win  you,  but  Miss  Chester  told  me  you  were 
out  to-day  purchasing  the  trousseau  for  your  marriage 
with  Colonel  Chester.  I  am  disappointed,  but  not  sur- 
prised, as  I  believe  you  and  he  will  suit.  Well,  again 
I  am  too  late." 

His  tone  and  patient,  sad  smile  touched  her. 

"Don't  let  it  grieve  you,  please.  I  can  tell  you  of 
one  far  better  suited  to  you  than  I  ever  can  be.  Elise 
would  make  you  happy." 

"She  is  a  lovely  girl,"  he  said,  "but  don't  tell  me  to 
go  to  anyone  else  till  I  can  somewhat  conquer  all  I 
feel.  Perhaps  in  time  I  Avill  go  to  some  one  for  con- 
solation. Let  me  call  on  you,  won't  you,  and  talk  of 
'long  ago,  when  you  and  I  were  young,'  and  such  sor- 
row as  has  since  come  was  unthought  of.  Ah,  Mab, 
if  those  days  could  only  be  recalled." 

"Nay !"  'she  said,  "these  are  better." 

"To  you  who  love  and  are  loved  it  may  be  so,  but 
to  me  who  meet  with  disappointment  all  the  time  it 
is  impossible  to  think  so." 

His  tone  was  hopeless,  but  Mabel  knew  him  too 
well  to  believe  his  life  ruined,  so  she  quietly  led  him 
away  from  his  griefs  and  left  him  with  the  gentle 
Elise  till  she  saw  that  he  could  brighten.  When  she 
saw  Colonel  Chester  again,  he  was  all  upset. 

"What  has  clouded  your  brow,  most  noble  sir?" 
ghe  asked. 


"Read  this,"  he  said,  handing  her  a  letter,  "and  you 
will  know." 

It  was  a  letter  from  her  father,  answering  Colonel 
Chester's  request  for  his  consent  to  his  marriage  to 
Mabel.  It  was  very  courteous,  but  he  firmly  said  his 
daughter  must  wed  among  her  countrymen,  and  he 
couldn't  consent  to  the  marriage.  Her  lover  watched 
her  anxiously  while  she  read,  and  when  she  finished 

"You  see  what  he  says.  Will  it  make  any  differ- 
ence to  you  if  he  can't  be  persuaded  to  give  his  con- 

"Certainly,  if  I  thought  he  couldn't  be  won  from  his 
standpoint,"  she  answered. 

"And  the  cup  of  happiness  so  near  my  lips  is  to  be 
dashed  away.  Fool  that  I  was  to  think  there  was 
aught  of  joy  for  me  on  earth,"  said  he  bitterly. 

"Please  be  calm,"  she  said.  "You  will  be  ill  again 
if  you  worry  in  this  way.  Just  be  patient  and  I  will 
write  mother  and  tell  her  how  you  suffered,  and  how 
my  life  is  bound  up  in  yours,  and  all  will  be  well,  I 
believe  it  would  be  best  for  me  to  go  home." 

"And  leave  me  here  to  endure  the  tedium  of  con- 
valescence without  you!  I  couldn't  bear  it.  I  can't 
let  you  go  away.  You  might  never  return,  and  then 
the  long,  dismal  years  that  I  would  have  to  pass  alone ! 
Oh,  I  can't  let  you  go." 

"Be  quiet,"  she  said.  "I  won't  go.  I'll  write  to 
mother  and  she  will  plead  for  you.  You  must  be  calm 
while  you  are  so  feeble.  Remember  your  brother's 
sad  fate  and  try  to  control  yourself." 

"Dearest,"  he  said,  "in  everything  else  I  am  cool 
and  calm,  but  I  have  suffered  so  much  through  you  it 
is  hard  to  control  my  emotions.  When  the  tension  of 
dread  is  over  I  will  be  calm." 

"Exhausted,"  she  said.  "I  am  afraid  the  ardent 
lover  may  become  the  indifferent  husband." 


"If  I  ever  become  indifferent  to  you,"  he  said,  "then 
my  claim  as  a  husband  will  end." 

"It  certainly  will,"  she  replied,  "for  I  will  not  yield 
homage  to  indifference,  sacredly  as  I  hold  marriage." 

"You  have  no  fears  regarding  me?"  he  asked. 

"None.  I  trust  you  entirely,  but  don't  promise  too 
much  beforehand,"  she  cautioned. 

"Don't  talk  so,  Mabel,"  he  said.  "Let  me  stay  in 
a  fool's  paradise  as  long  as  I  can." 

"Dear,"  she  said,  "if  'twas  in  my  power  to  make 
this  earth  paradise  to  you  it  would  be  done,  and  if  my 
love  can  make  it  seem  so  to  you  rest  assured  you 
have  it.  Did  I  tell  you  what  Allan  said  Mammy  had 
to  say  of  me  when  he  last  saw  her  ?  She  is  as  fond  as 
ever  of  scripture  quotations,  and  compared  me  to  the 
Queen  of  Sheba,  whose  beauty,  she  declared,  'done 
'stonish  ole  King  Solomon  de  time  he  went  ter  see  her 
an'  tuck  all  dem  fine  tings,  an'  my  chile  gwine  'sprise 
sum  big  pusson  up  Norf  yit !'  " 

He  laughed  as  she  told  him,  and  said : 

"The  old  woman  knew  what  she  was  talking  about. 
You  have  surprised  one,  and  the  more  you  reveal  of 
your  character  to  me  the  more  I  admire  you.  Tell 
me,  Mabel,  did  you  not  care  very  much  for  Allan  long 

"Yes,"  she  answered  frankly,  "but  that  was  an 
ephemeral  fancy  compared  to  what  I  feel  for  you ;  as 
a  brook  might  be  to  the  resistless  river.  Think  no 
more  of  it,  for  it  was  over  long  since,  and  he  is  only 
my  friend  now.  I  hope  he  will  become  attached  to 

"You  want  him  in  the  family,  then,  so  you  can  see 
him  often.  It  is  well  that  I  trust  you  so  entirely,"  he 
said,  smiling. 

She  smiled  up  in  his  face  and  answered: 

"  'Perfect  love  casteth  out  fear,'  you  know,  and 
could  ours  be  improved  upon!" 



After  what  seemed  a  long  time  to  the  impatient 
lover,  more  letters  came  from  Mabel's  parents. 

Mrs.  Gordon  wrote  a  tender,  sympathetic  letter,  say- 
ing that  while  she  preferred  her  daughter  marrying 
near  her,  yet  she  was  sure  she  could  not  fall  into 
safer  hands. 

Mr.  Gordon  consented  reluctantly.  He  remembered 
gratefully  all  Colonel  Chester  did  for  him  when  Wil- 
lie's life  hung  in  the  balance,  but  he  didn't  want  a  son- 
in-law  from  among  those  who  had  a  hand  in  putting 
the  country  in  such  a  state.  And  when  he  was  told  of 
the  way  he  saved  Mabel's  life,  he  said  if  she'd  been  at 
home  none  of  it  would  have  happened.  As  for  Mrs. 
Rowland's  generosity,  she  had  the  pleasure  of  his 
child's  society,  and,  besides,  it  was  merely  returning 
a  small  part  of  what  they  had  lost.  Willie  and  Nellie 
put  in  a  plea  for  the  marriage,  and  when  Mr.  Gordon 
found  them  all  against  him  he  yielded.  But  the  Colo- 
nel could  keep  his  money  and  he  would  stay  at  home; 
if  his  house  was  too  humble  for  them  to  be  married 
in  they  might  carry  on  their  grand  doings  without 
him  to  witness  them.  So  he  wrote  that  Mabel  was  of 
age,  and  if  she  chose  to  marry  him  he  had  nothing  to 
say.  That  he  wanted  to  repay  him  for  his  services  in 
Willie's   trial,   but  preferred   a   pecuniary   settlement. 

Colonel  Chester  smiled  as  he  read  it.  "The  old 
gentleman  certainly  belongs  to  the  old  South,"  said 
he.  "It  is  well  for  me  that  Mabel  is  reconstructed, 
and  that  gentle  mother  comes  in  as  she  does.  I  must 
hurry  up  matters,  for  fresh  obstacles  constantly  arise," 



As  Mabel  was  sitting  in  Mrs.  Rowland's  private 
parlor  engaged  in  some  fancy  work  while  her  lover 
read  to  her,  his  sister  came  in,  dressed  as  for  a  drive. 

"Been  out  riding,  Augusta?"   asked  the  gentleman. 

"Yes;  Elise  and  I  have  been  to  see  Louis,  and  he 
seems  to  be  doing  finely;  indeed,  the  superintendent 
says  he  is  well  and  might  come  home  to  stay." 

"We  tried  that  once,"  was  the  rejoinder,  "and  it 
came  near  costing  us  dear." 

"I  know,"  answered  the  lady,  "and  I  shudder  when- 
ever I  think  of  it." 

"Wait  till  I  am  recovered,"  said  her  brother,  "and 
then  we'll  take  the  boy  home." 

"You  are  gaining  strength  fast,"  said  Mabel. 

"Yes,"  said  he,  "but  I'm  not  able  to  cope  with  a 

"Another  thing  I  have  to  tell  you,  Rudolf,"  con- 
tinued his  sister.  "You  know  Eleanor's  husband  has 
been  dead  some  time.  Well,  she's  been  to  see  Louis, 
and  he  told  me  of  her  kindness." 

"And  he  thought  her  kind !  Poor  simpleton,  to  let 
her  ruin  his  life,  and  now  come  about  him  with  her 
pretended  regard,"  and  Colonel  Chester's  face  ex- 
pressed the  scorn  he  felt. 

"You  are  too  hard  on  her,"  said  his  sister.  "Mabel, 
can't  you  soften  Rudolf's  feelings  toward  Eleanor?" 

"I  have  tried,"  replied  the  girl,  "but  he  seems  im- 
placable, and  I  think,  considering  all  for  which  he  hns 
received  pardon,  he  might  forgive  a  frail  woman  w  b.o 
has  suffered  as  she  must  have  done." 

Colonel  Chester's  face  reddened  as  he  answered: 


"I  am  rebuked,  but  I  can't  exculpate  Eleanor  as  you 
two  do.  She  might  have  been  true  to  Louis  had  she 

"We  can  always  see  the  act,"  rejoined  Mabel,  "while 
the  motive  is  unseen,  as  are  the  many  reasons  conspir- 
ing to  cause  it,  hence  we  are  not  able  to  judge,  and 
somewhere — do  you  know  where — we  are  told  to  judge 
not  lest  we  be  judged.  I  think  Mrs.  Heath  endured 
enough,  knowing  she  had  helped  to  ruin  your 
brother's  life. 

"You  are  right,  dear,"  said  Mrs.  Rowland,  "and 
it  must  be  your  task  to  win  Rudolf  from  his  way  of 
thinking.     I  have  tried  in  vain." 

"If  Louis  is  ever  the  man  he  once  was  then  I'll 
forgive  Eleanor,  and  till  then  not  even  Mabel  can 
change  my  feelings,"  declared  the  gentleman. 

"So  somebody  besides  a  Gordon  can  be  unforgiv- 
ing," said  Mabel  slyly.  "Ah,  Colonel  Chester,  unless 
you  have  done  right  always  you  can't  afford  your 
present  position." 

Again  he  colored,  but  made  no  reply,  so  the  subject 
dropped  there.  Mabel  suggested  that  Mrs.  Rowland 
call  on  Mrs.  Heath  and  let  her  see  she  appreciated  her 
conduct,  so  the  lady  did,  and  there  were  tears  in  the 
eyes  of  both  when  they  met. 

Mrs.  Rowland  thanked  her  for  going  to  see  Louis, 
and  told  her  what  the  superintendent  said  of  his  con- 
dition, but  that  Rudolf  feared  to  take  him  home  then 
as  the  other  trial  came  near  costing  too  dear. 

"I  am  not  afraid  of  him,"  said  Mrs.  Heath,  quietly, 
"and  if  he  will  accept  it,  my  home  is  open  to  him." 

"Do  you  mean,"  asked  her  visitor,  "that  you  would 
take  my  poor  boy  as  he  is." 

"I  do,"  said  the  other.  "You  can't  know  how  I  feel 
toward  him.  You  know  I  unwillingly  aided  in  putting 
l;im  where  he  is,  and  if  I  can  help  in  his  restoration  I 
shall  thank  Heaven  for  the  means  of  so  doing." 


"Eleanor,"  exclaimed  her  friend,  "you  are  a  noble 


"Thank  yon,"  replied  Mrs.  Heath.  "I  hope  to  prove 
iliat  I  am  not  the  heartless  being  I've  seemed  to  be. 
I  understand  Colonel  Chester  does  not  think  as  you 
do,  and  I  can't  blame  him,  for  he  doesn't  know  all 
that  was  brought  to  bear  upon  me.  He  only  knew  his 
brother's  side,  and  it  was  natural  he  should  feel  bitter 
toward  me.  If  he  knew  all  I've  endured  in  these 
years  he  surely  would  change." 

"So  Mabel  and  I  tell  him,"  put  in  her  caller. 

"I  regretted,"  went  on  the  other,  "more  than  I  can 
tell,  the  effect  upon  him.  It  was  bad  enough  to  lose 
faith  in  womankind,  but  to  cause  him  to  mock  at  re- 
ligion was  inexpressibly  painful  to  me." 

"He  has  changed,"  said  Mrs.  Rowland. 

"I  hoped  he  would  when  I  saw  him  at  church  with 
that  lovely  girl.  My  heart  rejoiced  and  I  prayed  ear- 
nestly for  him.     Is  it  true  he  is  going  to  marry  her?" 

"Yes,"  replied  Mrs.  Rowland,  "and  I  am  so  glad, 
for  her  influence  over  him  is  wonderful.  She  is  sin- 
gularly good  and  true,  and  her  pure  life  and  childlike 
faith  have  accomplished  that  which  no  divine  could 
have  done  with  the  strongest  argument.  A  holy  life 
is  the  most  powerful  proof  of  the  truth  of  God's 

"I  rejoice  that  he  has  changed."  said  Mrs.  Heath. 

"No  one  knows,"  Mrs.  Rowland  went  on,  "what  a 
burden  I've  carried  because  of  my  boys,  and  my  heart 
is  full  of  joy  and  gratitude  that  the  cloud  is  lifting 
from   their   lives,   and   their  prospects   seem   bright." 

"I  share  your  joy."  said  Eleanor,  "for  I  have  been 
sorely  grieved  about  them." 

"Of  the  two  I  think  yours  was  the  heavier  burden," 
said  her  friend.  "I  felt  for  you.  as  has  Mabel  also. 
She  has  been  your  friend  throughout." 


"For  which,"  repHed  Eleanor,  "please  give  her  my 
thanks  and  tell  her  I  long  to  know  her." 

"Will  you  not  come  to  see  us?"  asked  Mrs.  Row- 

"Pardon  me,  but  that  is  impossible  until  Colonel 
Chester's  dislike  of  me  is  overcome,"  said  Mrs.  Heath. 

"And  so  all  the  visiting  must  be  done  by  me,  I  sup- 
pose," returned  Mrs.  Rowland,  smiling. 

From  Mrs.  Heath  she  went  to  see  Louis  and  found 
that  he  was  improving  all  the  time.  The  superintend- 
ent said  he  was  a  different  man  since  Mrs.  Heath's 
visit,  and  if  she  were  willing  he  would  be  glad  to  put 
]Mr.  Chester  in  her  care.  His  madness  had  been  partly 
due  to  a  wound  received  in  the  war,  and  a  recent  oper- 
ation relieved  that.  The  crushing  disappointment 
threw  him  off  his  balance,  but  now^  he  was  well  in  mind 
and  body. 

When  Mrs.  Rowland  spoke  of  Eleanor  to  Louis  his 
face  lighted,  and  he  told  of  her  kindness  to  him.  His 
sister  suggested  he  might  yet  win  her,  but  he  smiled 

"I  could  not  ask  her,"  said  he,  "to  link  her  life  to 
such  a  wreck  as  L  She  is  too  young  and  lovely  for 
a  fate  like  that." 

When  he  heard  of  her  resolve  to  devote  herself  to 
him  he  broke  down  and  cried. 

"She  is  too  good  for  me,"  he  said,  "and  I  can't  allow 
her  to  sacrifice  herself  thus." 

"It  is  her  choice,  brother,  and  it  would  be  cruel  to 
deny  her  the  pleasure  of  making  amends  for  what  she 
unwillingly  caused.  You  love  her,  I  see,  and  she  cares 
only  for  you." 

"It  shall  be  as  she  pleases,"  he  replied.  "Augusta, 
if  ever  a  man  had  cause  to  love  a  woman  I  have  cause 
to  love  her,  and  if  Rudolf  knew  her  as  I  do  he  would 
love  her.  If  he  cares  for  me  as  he  did  once  he  would 
be  fond  of  her  for  my  sake.    His  Mabel  is  dear  to  me 


because  of  him.  Sister,  your  boys  have  been  great 
sources  of  trouble  to  you;  but  it  is  over,  I  believe, 
thank  God." 

"I  trust  it  is,"  said  his  sister,  "and  I  believe  the 
happiness  is  greater  than  if  no  sorrow  had  been  ours. 
I  will  come  again  soon,  my  boy,  and  I  hope  to  see  your 
joy  complete.    With  Eleanor  to  care  for  you  I  shall  be  ^ 

Home  went  Mrs.  Rowland  with  a  light  heart.  At 
last  her  boys  wxre  to  be  blest  by  the  companionship  of 
women  who  would  help  them  bear  the  trials  of  this 
life,  and  lead  them  on  to  a  higher  one.  Little  did  she 
think  when  she  met,  seemingly  by  chance,  the  girl 
trudging  bravely  along  the  dusty  road  that  an  influence 
was  coming  into  their  lives  through  her  which  would 
last  through  eternity — that  the  brilliant,  cynical,  in- 
fidel would  some  day  bow  before  the  purity  and  sin- 
cerity of  the  earnest  young  girl.  The  gentle  mother 
in  training  the  child  given  to  her  care  had  not  thought 
of  the  power  for  good  she  wielded  when  she  sowed  the 
seeds  of  truth  and  love,  and  taught  her  the  simple 
faith  that  could  withstand  repeated  trials.  Mammy 
predicted  she  would  some  time  do  wonders. 

"She  bawn  good,  an'  she  bin  trabblin'  de  straight 
way  eber  sence,"  she  declared.  "She  gwine  keep  on 
growin'  in  grace  'n  flourishin'  lak  ur  green  bay  tree."' 



When  Mabel  knew  how  Mrs.  Heath  expressed 
herself  in  regard  to  Louis  she  said: 

**I  will  tell  your  brother  of  her  noble  conduct,  and 
his  feelings  certainly  will  change.  He  is  too  noble 
himself  to  withhold  the  meed  of  love  and  admiration 
due  her.     I'm  glad  you  went  to  see  her." 

"I  knew  you  would  sympathize  with  her,"  said  Mrs. 
Rowland,  "and  she  deserves  all  your  praise.  If  she 
and  Louis  do  conclude  to  be  married  would  it  not  be 
nice  for  yours  with  Rudolf  to  come  off  at  the  same 
time?     Where  is  he  now?" 

"At  his  office,"  replied  the  girl.  Elise  and  I  were  to 
drive  down  for  him,  and  we  also  have  to  go  to  Mad- 

"Be  off,  then,  and  dress  for  your  ride.  I  know  Ru- 
dolf isn't  thinking  of  law  when  he  is  expecting  you," 
said  the  lady,  smiling. 

When  the  girls  appeared  she  looked  with  fond  pride 
upon  them.  Elise,  with  her  dazzlingly  fair  skin, 
blonde  hair  and  clear  blue  eyes,  and  Mabel  with  her 
gold-brown  curls,  complexion  of  velvety  softness,  and 
dark,  unfathomable  eyes,  with  their  long  lashes, 
made  as  pretty  a  picture  as  she  cared  to  see,  and  so 
thought  Colonel  Chester  as  he  met  them. 

"You  are  tardy,  young  ladies,"  said  he,  as  he  seated 
himself  in  the  carriage.     "What  detained  you?" 

Elsie  glanced  at  Mabel  and  laughed. 

"We  haf  to  go  and  see  some  work  at  the  Madame's," 
she  said. 

"Are  you  having  dresses  made,  little  sister?"  he 


"I  wass  not  seeing  my  dress  made  just  now,"  replied 
Elise,  again  smiling. 

"Ah,"  said  he,  "then  it  must  be  this  young  lady.  I 
am  an  admirer  of  pretty  gowns.    May  I  not  see  these?" 

"They  are  not  for  you  to  see,"  responded  Mabel. 

"Not  for  me  to  see,"  he  exclaimed;  "pray  tell  me, 
then,  for  whom  they  are  intended  ?" 

"I  sha'n't  answer  your  question,"  retorted  the  girl. 

"Don't,"  said  he.  "Just  be  quiet  and  let  me  look 
at  you.     A  little  pout  becomes  her,  eh,  Elise?" 

Reaching  the  house  Mabel  said  to  him : 

"Come  with  me  to  the  library;  I  have  something 
to  say  to  you." 

His  face  became  grave  and  he  followed  her  into  the 
room  and  seated  himself  opposite  her.  She  saw  his 
anxious  expression  and  smiled,  saying: 

"Don't  be  alarmed." 

"I  felt  a  little  worried,"  he  said,  "lest  that  unrecon- 
structed father  of  yours  might  have  raised  some  new 
objections  to  his  future  son-in-law." 

"No,"  she  said,  "he  has  said  no  more.  I  wish  so 
much  he  and  mother  would  come  to  see  us.  You  have 
no  idea  how  it  troubles  me." 

"I  know  it,  dear,"  he  said,  "and  you  shall  see  that  I 
appreciate  the  sacrifice  you  are  making  for  me.  Mabel, 
please  hurry  up  the  preparations,  and  let  me  soon 
claim  you  as  my  very  own,  and  then  the  wife  shall  feel 
that  she  is  all  the  world  to  her  husband." 

"We  will  speak  of  that  directly,"  she  answered. 
"Now  hear  me,"  and  she  proceeded  to  tell  him 
Eleanor's  resolve  and  her  devotion  to  Louis. 

He  listened  closely,  and  when  she  finished,  said : 

"It  seems  that  I  have  misjudged  a  good  woman, 
and  all  that  I  can  do  to  make  amends  will  be  done. 
T  am  overjoyed  to  know  that  at  last  poor  Louis  is  to 
realize  his  dream  of  happiness,  and  I'll  beg  his  sweet- 
heart to  forgive  me  for  believing  evil  of  her  all  this 


time.  Appearances  won't  do  to  judge  by.  You  were 
right  in  her  case.  Mabel,  I  believe  now  in  an  over- 
ruling Providence,  and  you  were  undoubtedly  sent  to 
me,  through  it  took  you  a  long  time  to  find  it  out,  but 
since  you  have  recognized  the  fact  you  make  me  happy 
enough  to  let  all  the  suffering  go.     You  are " 

"Hush,"  she  said,  laying  her  hand  on  his  mouth, 
"you  are  too  much  of  a  flatterer." 

He  pressed  a  kiss  on  her  hand,  then  drew  a  box 
from  his  pocket,  and  opening  it  slipped  a  sparkling 
ring  on  her  finger. 

"There  now,"  said  he,  "you  are  fettered.  I  or- 
dered this  ring  made  for  you  and  it  came  to-day.  I 
have  another  for  the  occasion — a  plain  band  of  gold. 
Do  you  like  this  ring,  love?" 

"It  is  beautiful,"  she  said.  "What  perfect  taste 
you  have." 

"I  think  so,"  he  returned,  "especially  in  choosing  a 

"Your  nonsense  has  begun  again,"  she  said.  "Let 
us  go  to  Mrs.  Rowland  and  tell  her  that  you  are  ready 
to  receive  Eleanor  as  a  sister.     Come." 

He  rose  slowly. 

"Little  tyrant,"  said  he,  "you  rule  me  completely." 

"Your  time  is  coming,"  she  said,  laughing. 

Drawing  her  hand  through  his  arm  he  walked  on, 
saying : 

"I  won  your  love  by  patient  waiting,  and,  maybe, 
by  biding  my  time  I  may  gain  control  of  you,  but  be- 
cause of  your  superiority  in  using  your  tongue  I  am 
afraid  you'll  always  be  'speaker  of  the  house.'  " 

"And  to  reward  you  for  that  gallant  speech  I  shall 
not  see  you  after  tea.  Elise  will  have  to  entertain  your 

"Why  such  severity?  Can't  I  atone  for  my  rude- 
ness?" he  asked. 

"I  have  letters  to  write  home,"  she  replied.     "Now 


make  your  good  sister  happy  by  telling  her  that  you 
feel  as  you  should  toward  Eleanor." 

He  readily  acknowledged  his  wrong,  and  as  soon 
as  possible  went  to  see  Louis,  and  while  there  Mrs. 
Heath  came.  Seeing  Colonel  Chester,  she  colored  and 
hesitated  to  enter,  but  he  rose  and  met  her,  holding 
out  his  hand  and  saying : 

"I  am  glad  to  see  you  and  to  assure  you  of  my  friend- 
ship. I  ask  pardon  for  judging  you  so  unkindly.  For 
Louis'  sake  forgive  me  and  let  us  be  friends." 

"I  will,"  she  said  frankly,  ''and  I  do  not  blame  you." 

"You  are  most  kind,"  he  said,  "and  you  make  me 
ashamed  of  myself  for  holding  the  feelings  I  did." 

"That  is  all  gone,"  she  said,  "and  we  will  think  of 
it  no  more." 

Then  turning  to  Louis  she  asked  tenderly : 

"How  are  you  feeling  to-day  ?" 

"Quite  well,"  he  answered,  "and  very  happy.  Au- 
gusta brought  me  such  good  news  from  you  when  she 
came  last." 

Colonel  Chester  walked  to  a  window  and  stood  look- 
ing out  as  though  he  heard  not  a  w-ord. 

Mrs.  Heath  blushed,  and  Louis  said  softly : 

"Is  it  true,  Eleanor,  that  you  are  willing  to  devote 
your  life,  young,  lovely  and  rich,  as  you  are,  to  one 
so  near  a  wreck  as  I  ?" 

"Yes,"  she  said,  "for  unwillingly  I  helped  to  cause 
your  condition  and  I  want  to  make  amends  if  I  can." 

"Is  that  all  ?"  he  asked.  "For  feeble  as  I  am,  I  want 
no  woman,  simply  because  she  pities  me,  to  join  her 
life  to  mine.     Do  you  love  me,  Eleanor?" 

"Yes,  Louis.  My  only  happiness  is  in  being  near 
you  and  trying  to  make  you  happy,"  she  answered 

"And  you  will  be  my  w^ife,  at  last?" 

"Yes,  Louis,"  she  said  simply. 

"Thank  God!"  he  exclaimed,  the  tears  standing  in 

MABEL    GORDON  231  ■ 

his  eyes.  He  folded  her  reverently  in  his  arms  a  mo- 
ment, then  led  her  to  his  brother. 

"Rudolf,"  said  he,  "wish  me  jo)^  Eleanor  has  said 
she  will  be  mine — my  wife." 

Colonel  Chester  cleared  his  throat  before  speaking, 
and  clasped  his  brother's  hand  as  he  said : 

"From  the  bottom  of  my  heart,  too,  I  wish  yon  joy, 
and  welcome  your  Eleanor  gladly  as  my  sister.  Now, 
let  me  ask  right  here  if  we  can't  both  be  made  happy 
men  at  the  same  time?" 

"I  have  been  so  long  shut  out  from  the  sight  of  the 
public  that  I  shrink  from  people,"  answered  Louis.  "If 
Eleanor  prefers  it,  though,  I  will  try  to  overcome  my 

"No,"  she  said,  "it  shall  be  as  you  wish." 

"We  intended,"  said  Colonel  Chester,  "having  our 
marriage  in  church." 

"Let  yours  be  there,  then,  and  we  will  attend  and 
rejoice  thereat.  Afterwards  ours  can  take  place  and  all 
be  together  at  your  house.  You  have  not  the  dread  of 
being  looked  at  that  I  have,  brother.  It  is  known  gen- 
erally that  I  have  been  here,  and  would  be  the  cause  of 
much  curiosity,"  said  Louis. 

"You  will  get  over  your  feelings  after  a  time,"  said 
Colonel  Chester.  "When  you  are  married  you  must 
go  away  quite  a  while,  and  by  the  time  you  return  you 
will  be  accustomed  to  people." 

"You  will  go  with  me,  Louis?"  asked  Mrs.  Heath, 
and  he  answered: 

"Anywhere  with  you,  dear." 

"And  now,  brother,  as  you  have  company  far  better 
suited  to  your  present  state  of  mind  and  heart  that  I 
can  be,  I  will  leave  you.  Mrs.  Heath,  I  thank  you  for 
what  you  are  doing  for  our  dear  boy,  and  for  us  all," 
said  Colonel  Chester,  as  he  took  his  leave. 

Remembering  how  Mabel  once  fared,  he  felt  a  little 
uneasiness  about  Mrs.  Heath,  and  so  expressed  himself 


to  the  superintendent,  but  the  latter  reassured  him  by- 
saying  : 

"There  is  no  danger,  sir.  He  is  perfectly  well,  and 
the  lady  has  complete  control  of  him,  for  he  loves  her 
with  all  his  heart." 

So  Colonel  Chester  drove  home  to  tell  his  sister  and 
Mabel  of  the  meeting  between  himself  and  Eleanor, 
and  of  Louis'  happiness,  then  on  to  his  office,  for  he  had 
resumed  work  and  was  arranging  his  business  so  that 
he  might  take  a  tour  with  his  bride  to  her  dear  home. 

He  wondered  how  Mr.  Gordon  would  receive  him, 
and  he  could  not  blame  the  old  man  for  feeling  as  he 

"I  would  hate  any  man  who  could  wantonly  destroy 
my  home,"  he  thought.  "How  time  changes  every- 
thing !  Little  then  did  I  think  that  my  entire  happiness 
would  ever  depend  on  one  of  that  trembling  group.  I 
see  where  Mabel  got  her  implacability  from.  She  is 
undoubtedly  a  daughter  of  old  man  Gordon,  but  the 
gentle  mother  comes  in,  and  it  is  well  for  me." 

His  thoughts  were  so  full  of  Mabel,  it  was  hard  to 
keep  them  on  the  dry  law  case. 

*^And  the  lawyers  smiled  that  afternoon 
As  he  hummed  in  court  an  old  love  tune.'* 

It  was  hard  to  realize  that  the  cool,  collected  lawyer, 
who  at  thirty-four  boasted  he  knew  nothing  of  love, 
and  the  glowing,  impassioned  lover  were  the  same  man. 
He  was  an  object  of  astonishment  to  himself  when  he 
thought  of  the  great  change  wrought  in  him  by  the 
earnest,  pure-hearted  girl — the  child  who  came  into  his 
life  so  quietly,  and  in  spite  of  his  sneers  held  on  to  her 
faith,  compelling  the  cold  sceptic  to  yield  to  her  gentle 



At  last  the  day  arrived,  and  all  save  the  bride-elect 
seemed  very  happy.  She  was  sad  because  the  beloved 
parents  could  not  witness  an  event  of  such  solemn  mo- 
ment to  her  as  her  marriage.  That  afternoon  as  she 
was  alone  in  her  room  the  door  opened  softly,  and, 
turning  to  see  the  intruder,  Mabel  exclaimed : 

"Mother !  Oh,  when  did  you  come  ?"  and  was  folded 
to  that  mother's  breast  to  weep  tears  of  joy.  "Where 
is  father?"  she  asked.    "Why  didn't  he  come?" 

"I  left  him  at  home,"  answered  the  mother.  "He  is 
anxious  to  see  you  and  he  will  welcome  your  husband, 
to  whom  we  all  owe  so  much,  but  I  couldn't  get  him  to 

"Have  you  seen  Colonel  Chester  ?"  next  queried  Ma- 

"He  met  me  at  the  station,"  said  Mrs.  Gordon.  "I 
wrote  him  not  to  tell  you  I  would  try  to  be  here,  lest 
you  might  be  disappointed.  I  don't  wonder  Willie 
thinks  of  him  what  he  does,  and  that  you  love  him. 
Your  father,  too,  will  yet  love  him  as  a  son.  Don't  let 
his  absence  sadden  you,  my  darling;  you  have  been 
such  a  faithful  daughter  all  will  work  out  for  your  hap- 
piness. All  your  people  are  waiting  impatiently  to 
have  you  with  them." 

There  were  many  questions  to  be  asked  and  an- 
swered and  the  time  flew  by  to  both.  Later  Mrs.  Row- 
land entered  the  room. 

"Not  dressed  yet,  Mabel !"  she  exclaimed.  "Your 
maid  has  been  slow.  Rudolf  will  tire  himself  out  if  you 
don't  soon  put  in  your  appearance.    He  insists  on  see- 


ing  you  before  we  start  for  the  church,  and  the  hour  is 
not  far  off." 

"You  will  have  to  excuse  my  tardiness,"  said  Mabel, 
smiling.  "I  was  so  overjoyed  at  mother's  coming.  I 
know  now  why  you  and  Elise  were  smiling  so  much 

"Yes,  it  was  hard  to  keep  our  pleasant  secret  from 
you,"  said  the  lady.  "I  am  very  glad  your  mother 
came.  Mrs.  Gordon,  this  child  was  trying  to  keep  from 
us  how  she  grieved  over  the  absence  of  her  parents. 
She  wanted  to  go  back  to  her  own  dear  home,  but  we 
just  couldn't  let  her  do  so,  and  I'm  sure  you  will  ap- 
prove when  you  know  all.  Let  me  say,  also,  that  when 
you  trained  this  girl  you  were  preparing  a  blessing  for 

"If  the  Lord  has  let  my  child  do  any  good  I  am 
thankful,"  replied  the  mother,  "and  it  is  peculiarly 
pleasing  to  know  she  can  add  to  the  happiness  of  one 
to  whose  efforts  in  behalf  of  my  son  we  owe  much." 

"Rudolf  felt  that  he  was  indebted  to  you,"  said  Mrs. 
Rowland,  "and  he  was." 

Just  then  Elise  appeared,  holding  a  casket. 

"Look,  Mabel,"  she  said;  "I  bring  you  this  from 
your  lover,  and  he  bids  me  say  that  he  doesn't  wonder 
at  your  joy,  but  please  remember  him  in  your  happi- 

Mabel  opened  the  box  and  took  therefrom  the  gleam- 
ing gift,  and  with  a  low  cry  of  delight  turned  to  her 

"See,"  she  said,  "how  lovely !  Is  he  not  too  good  to 
me,  and  am  I  not  a  happy  girl  to  have  such  kindly 
thought  given  me?" 

"Save  your  rapture  for  Rudolf,"  said  Mrs.  Row- 
land, smiling  fondly,  "and  be  still  till  I  arrange  your 
veil  and  put  on  the  jewels.  This  throat  needs  no  orna- 
ment, but  that  love-crazed  man  wants  everything  for 
you,  and  he  has  suffered  enough  to  have  his  way  now. 


Take  a  good  look  in  this  mirror,  then  go  and  see  what 
your  future  lord  wants,  while  Mrs.  Gordon  finishes  her 
toilette.    The  bride's  mother  must  look  her  best." 

"One  last  kiss,  please,  mother,  and  I'll  go,"  said 
Mabel,  "and  one  from  you,  my  other  mother.  Was 
ever  a  girl  so  blest  as  I  ?" 

"Was  ever  one  more  deserving?"  asked  her  mother, 
and  Mrs.  Rowland  answered : 


Colonel  Chester  was  standing  in  the  spacious  par- 
lor looking  faultlessly  elegant  and  radiantly  happy. 
As  Mabel  seemed  to  float  into  the  room  he  met  her 
quickly  and  led  her  where  the  light  from  the  chande- 
lier fell  full  upon  her. 

"Perfect,"  he  pronounced,  "from  the  veil  to  slip- 
pers, but  you  look  so  ethereal  I  am  almost  afraid  to 
touch  you.  A  bride  adorned  for  her  husband,  and 
beautiful  to  see,  but,  fair  as  the  body  is,  the  spirit  is 
far  lovelier.  Ah,  Mabel,  I  know  there  is  no  happier 
man  than  I  in  all  the  world." 

The  eyes  raised  to  him  were  full  of  earnestness  as 
she  replied : 

"May  you  never  have  cause  to  feel  otherwise.  Oh, 
Rudolf,  I  fairly  sickened  when  I  heard  of  the  case  you 
took  this  week.  I  thought,  what  if  he  should  ever 
find  life  with  me  intolerable,  and  I  have  almost  wearied 
heaven  with  my  prayers  that  I  may  be  a  blessing  to 

"Never  think  of  yourself  and  that  woman  at  the 
same  time,"  he  said,  "but  I  pity  her  more  than  I 
blame.  Entrusted  from  birth  to  the  care  of  hirelings, 
no  high  principles  were  ever  implanted  or  cultivated 
in  her — the  claims  of  her  Creator  never  taught  her — 
she  grew  up  selfish,  vain,  wholly  given  over  to  the 
pleasures  of  the  world,  from  which  her  mother  had 
vainly  tried  to  extract  happiness.  Is  it  any  wonder 
her  marriage  should  end  disastrously  ?    You  were  for- 


tunate  in  having  a  mother  who  looked  upon  children 
as  a  solemn,  precious  trust,  not  to  be  delegated  to 
others,  however  efficient,  as  long  as  she  had  strength  to 
discharge  her  duties.  And  I  am  a  fortunate  man  to 
win  for  my  wife  one  with  such  an  inheritance  and 
training.  Now,  tell  me,  sweet,  if  you  are  satisfied 
with  me?" 

"Can  you  doubt  that?"  she  asked.  "I  wondered 
wdiat  there  was  in  me  to  win  such  a  man  as  yourself." 

He  smiled  as  he  drew  her  nearer,  and  answered : 

" ''  'Tzvas  thy  high  purity  of  thought. 
Thy  soul-rcvcaling  eye, 
That  placed  me  spellbound  at  thy  feet; 
Sweet  zvanderer  from  the  sky,' 

and  you  look  like  a  veritable  wanderer  from  the  sky 
in  all  this  misty  white.     Did  you  like  my  gift?" 

"It  is  perfectly  beautiful,"  she  replied,  "and  you 
were  so  kind  to  give  me  such  jewels." 

"You  are  bringing  me  that  whose  price  is  far  above 
rubies,"  said  he,  "but,"  smiling  brightly,  "I  want  a 
necklace,  too.  of  the  kind  no  money  can  buy." 

He  bent  his  head,  and  two  white  arms,  whose  beauty 
he  had  often  admired,  stole  timidly  round  his  neck 
while  his  lips  sought  hers  in  the  last  kiss  she  would 
receive  as  Mabel  Gordon. 

The  marriage  of  Colonel  Chester,  woman  hater  and 
cynic,  was  an  interesting  event  in  his  world.  There 
was  a  general  desire  to  see  the  person  capable  of  win- 
ning him,  and  when  they  saw  the  graceful  girl  and 
noted  the  pure  beauty  of  her  face,  when  he  took  upon 
himself  the  solemn  vows  of  marriage,  the  decision  was 
that  she  was  fitted  to  adorn  the  high  position  which 
as  his  wife  she  would  hold. 

Dr.  Warren  was  delighted  to  give  the  bride 
aw^ay,  for  he  knew  how  faithfully  the  lover  served  to 
gain  his  prize,  and  what  a  prize  he  had  secured. 


From  the  church  the  bridal  party  went  to  Mrs. 
Heath's,  where  she  and  Louis  were  quietly  married, 
and  then  to  Colonel  Chester's  house.  While  Eleanor 
had  not  Mabel's  fresh  beauty,  yet  she  was  a  very 
handsome  woman,  and  to  the  quiet  man  whose  life  had 
been  so  long  solitary  and  loveless  she  was  the  fairest 
of  all  the  fair  women  there.  Rudolf  and  his  Mabel 
were  not  any  happier  than  the  two  so  strangely  united, 
while  'twas  remarked  by  several  that  even  the  grooms 
seemed  no  better  pleased  than  did  Mrs.  Rowland  and 
Dr.  Warren  over  the  happy  ending  to  the  brothers' 

"I  can  rest  now,"  said  the  devoted  sister. 

"You  forget  Miss  Chester  isn't  settled  in  life*  yet," 
was  the  reply,  to  which  the  lady  responded  that  she 
was  going  to  keep  her  for  her  own  self,  but  from  the 
way  x\llan  Harvey,  who  was  there,  hovered  about  the 
girl,  some  doubted  that  she  would  do  so,  and  Mabel 
hoped  that  he  might  become  fond  of  Elise. 

Mrs.  Gordon  was  glad  to  renew  her  acquaintance 
with  the  friend  of  Mabel's  girlhood,  and  he  greeted 
the  lady  with  deferential  affection,  and  declared  he 
must  have  a  long  talk  for  the  sake  of  "auld  lang 

"First  of  all,"  said  he,  "let  me  congratulate  you 
upon  the  brilliant  marriage  of  your  daughter.  Ches- 
ter is  a  fine  fellow.  He  fairly  adores  his  bride,  and 
no  one  blames  him,  she  is  so  lovely.  Can  you  realize 
that  she  is  the  little  girl  we  knew  at  Dellwood,  and 
who,  at  your  command,  gave  me  such  nice  cream,  ber- 
ries and  bread,  the  like  of  which  I've  never  tasted 
since?  If  I  come  again,  will  you  treat  me  as  you  did 
then?  Do  you  know,  in  all  my  travels  I've  never  eaten 
anything  so  delicious  as  the  little  luncheons  in  your 
hospitable  home.  Ah,  if  one  could  only  call  back 
those  years!" 

"I  will  treat  you  just  as  before,"  said  Mrs.  Gordon, 


"but  it  is  out  of  my  power  to  give  you  the  taste  you 
liad  then.  Can  you  come  back  the  Allan  we  knew 
ihen?  You  have  seen  much  of  the  world  and  life,  and 
I  fear  the  man  has  lost  the  freshness  and  pure  enjoy- 
ment of  youth.  Are  you  the  same  Allan  we  loved  to 
welcome  to  our  home?" 

Her  kindly  eyes  were  bent  upon  him  in  a  way  that 
recalled  some  expressions  he  had  seen  in  Mabel's  face, 
and  he  sighed  as  he  answered : 

"Ah,  Mother  Gordon,  I  wish  I  knew  less  of  the 
world  and  that  I  could  be  the  boy  you  knew  then ;  but 
Allan,  the  man,  has  suffered  in  many  ways  the  boy 
did  not  dream  of.  I  did  leave  the  right  path  a  while, 
and  do  you  know  who  helped  to  bring  me  back  ?  'Twas 
a  sweet,  earnest,  white-souled  girl.  Her  prayers  and 
sympathy  brought  me  again  to  myself,  and  I  thank 
her,  and  you,  also,  for  what  I  am.  Mabel's  friendship 
has  held  me  on  the  right  track  many  times.  I  am  not 
surprised  that  she  has  made  such  a  noble  woman.  I 
always  knew  there  were  great  possibilities  in  her 
make-up,  and  I  shall  always  be  glad  that  we  ever  met." 

"All  of  which  is  very  pleasant  for  me — her  mother — 
to  hear.  You  were  a  great  help  to  her,  and  she  fre- 
quently said  she  owed  much  to  the  stimulus  you  gave 
her  in  studying.  I  missed  you  when  you  went  away 
and  Mabel  was  lost  for  a  while.  You  must  come  again 
when  Mrs.  Rowland  and  Elise  visit  us.  They  want  to 
try  the  Springs." 

The  young  man  thanked  Mrs.  Gordon  and  assured 
her  he  would  go  when  her  friend  went,  which  he  did. 
Being  thrown  with  Elise  frequently,  it  came  about  as 
Mabel  hoped — in  time  Allan  won  the  young  girl's 
heart,  and,  being  one  who  could  love  quite  comfortably 
rnore  than  once,  he  gave  the  trusting  girl  such  devo- 
tion that  she  was  perfectly  content. 

After  the  guests  had  left  and  Colonel  Chester  and 
Mabel  were  alone,  he  said : 


"Let  me,  my  wife,  give  you  a  home  which  I  beg 
you  to  accept  in  place  of  the  one  I  deprived  you  of 
long  ago." 

Leaning  her  head  on  his  breast,  she  answered  : 

"My  home  is  here.  Rudolf,  life  holds  no  dearer  ob- 
ject to  me  than  yourself,  and  when  I  see  you  a  conse- 
crated Christian  my  happiness  will  be  complete." 

"You  shall  be  satisfied,"  he  said,  "for  when  my  puny 
strength  failed  I  realized  my  need  of  a  higher  power, 
and  if  He  will  take  such  a  sinner  as  I,  and  use  me,  I 
am  His.  I  owe  so  much  to  Him  for  sending  you  to 
me  my  whole  life  service  can  never  repay  Him." 

"Not  that,  dear,"  she  said,  "though  your  praise  is 
sweet  to  me,  but  because  God  so  loved  the  world  He 
sent  His  only  begotten  Son  to  die  for  us,  that  we, 
through  Him,  might  have  life  eternal." 

230  MABEL    GORDON. 


"  '  'Tis  only  a  little  grave/  they  said; 
'Only  just  a  child  that's  dead.' 
And  so  they  quietly  turned  azvay 
From  the  mound  the  spade  had  raised  that  day. 
They  little  knew  hozv  deep  a  shade 
That  tiny  grave  in  our  home  had  made. 

"I  know  the  coffin  was  narrow  and  small — 
One  yard  zvould  have  served  as  an  ample  pall — 
And  one  man  in  his  arms  could  have  borne  away 
The  rosebud  and  its  freight  of  clay. 
But  I  know  that  darling  hopes  were  hid 
Beneath  that  tiny  cofUn  lid." 

The  baby  boy  whose  presence  in  the  Gordon  house- 
hold had  helped  to  make  Mabel's  departure  more  re- 
gretful when  she  was  last  in  her  old  home,  had  early 
closed  his  eyes  to  all  things  earthly,  and  the  home  that 
his  baby  ways  had  brightened  so  much  felt  the  shade 
caused  by  a  "tiny  grave,"  while  the  young  parents 
found  life  dreary  without  the  sound  of  the  sweet  voice 
and  the  touch  of  "waxen  fingers."  Their  only  com- 
fort was  in  the  belief  that  he  was  "born  unto  that  un- 
dying life,"  and  that  beyond  the  tomb  "love  would 
some  day  claim  its  ovv^n." 

Then  another  little  life  was  given  them,  and,  while 
there  was  a  place  in  their  hearts  sacred  to  the  first-born 
and  departed  child,  yet  the  little  one  brought  bright- 
ness to  them,  and  his  fond  young  father  introduced 
him  proudly  to  Mabel  and  her  husband  as : 


"Rudolf  Chester  Gordon." 

"Named  for  me?"  asked  the  new  uncle.  "Well, 
this  is  a  nice  compliment,  and  a  fine  baby." 

"We  would  have  named  our  first  one  for  you," 
said  Willie,  "but  Nellie's  father  was  declining,  and 
mine  was  not  well,  so  we  called  him  after  his  grand- 
parents, but  when  this  little  chap  came  I  said  he  must 
be  named  for  the  noble  man  who  came  so  quickly  to 
our  aid  when  we  sorely  needed  help." 

The  hands  of  the  young  men  met  in  a  warm  clasp, 
and  Colonel  Chester's  eyes  were  suspiciously  moist  as 
he  replied : 

"I  appreciate  your  courtesy,  but  must  insist  that 
no  member  of  this  family  can  feel  under  obligations 
to  me." 

"Nevertheless,"  said  Nellie,  "we  always  will  feel 
so.  Oh,  you  can't  understand  all  we  endured  then, 
and  how  much  I  have  wanted  to  see  you  and  thank 

"You  certainly  discharged  your  part  of  the  indebt- 
edness you  claim  to  owe  when  you  advocated  my  cause 
with  the  father  here,  and  Mabel  keeps  me  constantly 
under  obligations  because  of  the  happiness  she  gives 
me."  gallantly  answered  the  lawer. 

"Don't  you  think,"  asked  Nellie,  "that  little  Ru- 
dolf resembles  Mabel?" 

"I  am  not  expert  in  tracing  resemblances  in  such 
a  young  man  as  this,"  said  the  gentleman,  smiling, 
"but  I  believe  there  is  something  about  his  eyes  like 

"And  his  hair,"  said  Willie,  "what  we  can  see 
of  it,  bids  fair  to  be  the  same  shade  of " 

"Now  brother,"  warned  Mabel,  "you  are  on  danger- 
ous ground,  for  I  haven't  forgotten  your  compli- 
ments to  my  hair." 

"You  couldn't  wish  for  prettier,"  put  in  Colonel 


"Oh,  the  blindness  of  a  lover!"  exclaimed  Willie, 
and  his  brother-in-law  rejoined  : 

"My  attack  was  later  coming  than  yours,  but  I 
wonder  if  I  am  any  blinder  than  you  were.  How  is 
it,  Mabel?" 

"My  sisterly  patience  was  often  taxed,"  replied 
Mabel,  with  a  mischievous  smile,  "for,  while  I  thought 
Nellie  pretty  enough,  I  didn't  think  she  was  the  ex- 
tremely beautiful  being  Willie's  ravings  made  her  ap- 

"Well,  anyway,"  retorted  her  brother,  his  eyes  twin- 
kling,  "I  could  always  see  that  her  hair  had  been 

nicely  combed,  while say,  Mab,  have  you  brushed 

yours  lately?" 

MABEL    GORDON.  233 


"Well^  I  am  certainly  glad  to  get  my  family  to- 
gether once  more,"  said  Mr.  Gordon,  settling  himself 
contentedly  in  his  big  armchair  near  the  end  of  the 
porch,  shaded  by  a  luxuriant  honeysuckle  vine,  from 
whose  flowers  a  brilliant-plumaged  humming-bird  ex- 
tracted sweets. 

Mrs.  Gordon  sat  near,  her  face  reflecting  the  hap- 
piness he  expressed,  for,  while  she  had  enjoyed  her 
trip  and  stay,  to  her  the  unpretentious  home  was  the 
sweetest  place  on  earth,  and  to  have  all  her  dear  ones 
with  her  once  more  filled  her  with  such  joy  that  it 
beamed  from  the  kind  eyes  and  made  her  look,  so  her 
husband  said,  almost  as  young  as  the  "girls,"  and  far 

Willie  leaned  against  the  railing — a  fine  type  of  a 
prosperous  young  planter,  broad  shouldered,  clean 
limbed,  bronzed  cheeked,  with  a  forehead  fair  as  a 
girl's,  and  earnest  eyes  that  often  sparkled  with  humor 
but  met  all  others  frankly.  Nellie,  with  her  babe  on 
her  lap,  her  dark  eyes  filled  with  the  tender  mother- 
love,  her  rich-hued  complexion  and  silky  black  hair, 
her  dress  plain  but  perfectly  neat;  Mabel,  dainty  and 
fair;  Colonel  Chester,  polished  and  handsome,  made  a 
family  to  be  proud  of. 

Mr.  Gordon  continued,  addressing  Mabel : 

"My  daughter,  we  have  needed  you  sadly  many 
times,  though  Nellie  has  been  all  to  us  we  could  ex- 
pect, and  I  hoped  to  some  time  have  you  here  to  live. 
Since  it  was  willed  otherwise,  and  you  have  chosen  a 

234:  MABEL    GORDON 

husband  away  from  us,  I  am  glad  you  have  done  so 
well,  and  by  that  I  do  not  mean  so  far  as  worldly  pos- 
sessions go,  but  that  you  have  married  a  man." 

"Thank  you,  sir!"  exclaimed  Colonel  Chester  in 
surprise,  "I  hope  to  prove  worthy  of  your  good  opin- 

"I  owe  this  to  you,"  said  the  old  gentleman,  "and 
an  honest  man  pays  all  kinds  of  debts,  though  he  may 
be  a  little  slow  sometimes.  A  Gordon,  sir,  never  re- 
pudiated an  obligation  of  any  sort.  I  remember  our 
need,  and  but  for  your  assistance  this  gathering  might 
never  have  been,  for  Willie's  conviction  meant  ruin  to 
us.  Your  kindness,  as  late  events  have  shown,  was 
not  wholly  disinterested,  still  you  were  kind,  and  I  ap- 
preciate what  you  did." 

"Ah!  father,"  spoke  Mabel,  quickly,  "you  don't 
know  what  he  suffered  then,  for  he  left  me  very  ill, 
and  he  was  hardly  able  to  take  up  business  at  all." 

"I  would  not  have  worked  in  any  case  then  save  the 
one  I  did,"  said  Colonel  Chester  very  quietly,  "and  I 
fell  so  far  below  the  other  counsel  in  my  speech  that 
my  work  seemed  nothing  to  me." 

"We  know  better,"  responded  Mr.  Gordon,  "and  if 
little  Rudolf  ever  comes  up  to  it  we'll  be  satisfied,  eh, 

"I  shall,  sir,"  replied  his  son,  and  Mabel  flashed  a 
smiling  approval  at  him.  Colonel  Chester  turned  to 
look  his  appreciation,  but  saw  in  the  distance  the  spot 
where  the  stately  house  once  stood,  and,  seeing  the 
color  dye  his  face.  Mabel  divined  his  feelings.  Their 
praise  really  hurt  him. 

"As  for  you,  wife,"  said  Mr.  Gordon,  "I  don't  think 
I'll  ever  let  you  leave  me  again,  even  for  a  few  days. 
I  was  so  lost  without  you." 

"I  think  father  regretted  not  going  with  you,  moth- 
er," said  Willie.  "It  was  pitiful  to  see  how  desolate 
he  seemed.     He  went  about  the  place  aimlessly,  his 


hands  clasped  behind  him,  his  head  bent  as  if  in  grief, 
and  he  looked  years  older.  All  of  us  pitied  him,  but 
his  greatest  sympathizer  was  a  gander,  whose  mate 
had  died." 

"Oh,  brother!"  exclaimed  Mabel,  while  Colonel 
Chester  laughed  and  Mrs.  Gordon  smiled. 

"Father  and  he  became  real  chums,"  declared  Wil- 
lie. "Wherever  outdoors  father  went  the  gander  fol- 
lowed close  at  his  heels,  and  hovered  patiently  near 
the  door  when  father  came  in  the  house.  But  the 
faithful  feathered  friend  has  lost  his  mate  again,  for 
father  is  too  happy  to  be  a  congenial  companion  to  a 
sad  widower." 

"Father  wasn't  the  only  husband  having  trials 
then,"  said  Nellie.    "Old  Uncle  Tony  had  a  sad  time." 

"Was  Peggy  sick?"  asked  Mrs.  Gordon. 

"No  more  than  usual,"  said  Willie.  "Old  Tony  is 
a  martyr  to  her  aches  all  the  time.  Nellie  often  cites 
him  as  a  shining  example  for  me  to  follow,  but  I  si- 
lence her  by  calling  her  attention  to  a  number  of  cases 
where  wise  husbands  use  the  rod  of  correction  v/hen 
they  think  it  is  needed." 

"But  you  don't  approve  of  that,"  said  Nellie,  smil- 

"Not  as  severely  as  some  of  the  negroes  administer 
it,  though  really  I  believe  those  wives  seem  to  respect 
their  husbands  much  more.  Why,  I  heard  one  brag- 
ging to  another  of  her  liege  lord's  prowess  in  that  line. 
Nellie,  when  I  see  your  respect  for  me  seriously  dimin- 
ishing ril  adopt  his  method,"  laughingly  warned  the 
young  man. 

"That's  big  talk,  isn't  it?  He  forgets  I'm  still  a 
strong  man,  doesn't  he,  daughter?"  said  Mr.  Gordon, 
addressing  Nellie. 

"We  know  how  to  take  his  threats,"  she  replied, 
"but  to  be  on  the  safe  side  Til  try  to  keep  hirn  with 
you,  father,  and  under  Uncle  Tony's  influence," 


'Tell  us  the  old  man's  trouble,"  said  Mrs.  Gordon. 
"He  seems  bright  enough  now." 

"I  was  sorry  for  him  then,"  replied  Nellie.  "He 
went  about  his  work  looking  so  sad  and  pa- 
tient that  I  asked  him  if  he  was  ill.  'No'm ;  'tain'  sick- 
ness wot  bodderin'  me  now,'  he  said.  'Hit's  wus  'n' 
dat.'  'Well,  do  try  to  brighten  up,'  said  I,  'for  it  makes 
me  feel  bad  to  see  you  so  droopy.  Tell  me  your  trou- 
ble, and  perhaps  I  can  help  you.'  'Ah-h-h,'  he  sighed, 
and  shook  his  head.  'Has  father  or  Willie  hurt  your 
feelings?'  I  asked.  'No'm,'  he  answered,  'dey  duz 
tawk  mi'ty  brash  sumtimes,  but  I  don'  pay  no  tenshun 
tub  'em.'  " 

"That's  the  truth,"  put  in  Mr.  Gordon. 

"He  wouldn't  tell  me  his  trouble,"  continued  Nellie, 
"so  I  asked  Aunt  Peggy  if  she  knew  what  worried 
him.  'Oh !'  she  exclaimed,  impatiently,  'Tony  sich  uh 
ol'  fool.'  *Aunt  Peggy !'  I  cried.  'He  iz,'  she  affirmed. 
'You  know,  honey,  Tony  mah  secon'  husbun'.  Mah 
fus  'n'  bin  dead  long  time,  'n'  Simon,  mah  ol'es'  son, 
he  seh  dat  he  mus'  hab  mo'  'spect  showed  he  pa,  en  he 
dun  gone  'n'  tuck  it  in  he  head  tub  hab  his  fader 
fune'l  preach.'  'His  funeral  preached!'  I  exclaimed. 
'Yessum,'  she  said ;  'I  tole  him  it  bin  dun  long  ago  'n' 
dat  nigga  bin  dead  too  long  tub  be  preachin'  he  fune'l 
now ;  'sides  it  bin  dun  once,  but  he  seh  he  don'  'member 
nuttin'  'bout  it,  an'  hit's  boun'  tub  be  preach'  ergin, 
an'  Tony,  he  feel  all  upsot,  'n'  seh  he  boun'  tub  go  tuh 
chu'ch  caze  it  his  chu'ch  whar  de  fune'l  gwine  be 
preach',  an'  'twon't  look  well  fo'  him  not  tuh  be  dar, 
an'  he  don'  want  tuh  go.'  " 

"Very  natural,  I  should  say,"  said  Colonel  Chester, 
laughing.     "Did  he  become  reconciled?" 

"He  seemed  to  think  best  to  believe  Aunt  Peggy's 
assurance  that  'hearin'  'em  tawk  'bout  dat  nigga  not 
gwine  'feet  my  feelin's  tuh  you,  Tony,'  for  the  next 
Sabbath  morning  I  saw  him  sitting  out  near  his  house, 


industriously  brushing  his  head,  and  he  came  to  get 
the  blacking  to  polish  his  shoes." 

"Evidently  he  was  not  going  to  let  anything  in  his 
appearance  cause  Aunt  Peggy  to  view  him  disparag- 
ingly," said  ]\Iabel. 

"Father  gave  him  a  coat,"  went  on  Nellie, 
"Willie  a  pair  of  trousers,  I  a  cravat  and  col- 
lar, and  he  treated  himself  to  a  new  vest  and  pair 
of  shoes ;  he  had  a  good  hat.  Aunt  Peggy  was  neatly 
dressed,  and  they  made  a  nice  looking  couple,  but  I 
don't  think  he  was  altogether  satisfied,  for  as  they 
passed  through  the  yard  I  heard  her  say,  'Tony,  don' 
be  sech  uh  fool'  " 

All  laughed,  and  Colonel  Chester  said: 

"You  don't  need  theatres  down  here." 

"Yes,"  replied  Mr.  Gordon,  "we  have  comedy  and 
tragedy  sadly  mixed,  but  if  all  the  negroes  were  such 
as  Peggy  and  Tony  we'd  never  have  any  trouble  with 

"And  Mammy,"  said  Mabel. 

"You  must  put  on  your  prettiest  dress  when  you  go 
to  see  her,"  said  Nellie.  "She  lamented  sorely  not  see- 
ing you  in  bridal  array." 

"I  had  my  picture  taken  in  my  dress  as  much  for 
her  as  ourselves,"  Mabel  answered. 

"The  old  lady  won't  be  with  us  long,"  Mrs.  Gordon 
remarked,  "and  we  will  lose  a  faithful  friend  when 
she  goes." 

"Yes,"  assented  Mr.  Gordon,  "she  never  upholds 
her  race  in  lawlessness.  To  tell  the  truth,  low  down 
white  men  are  more  to  blame  than  the  negroes.  They 
are  easily  misled,  and  always  trust  pretended  friends 
more  than  real  ones,  while  we  bear  the  burdens." 

"Suppose  we  go  now  to  see  Mammy,"  said  Mabel. 
"Nellie,  call  Queen  Sheba  to  take  Master  Rudolf,  and 
you  come  help  me  dress." 


"You  have  a  titled  nurse,  truly,"  said  Colonel  Ches- 
ter, smiling. 

"We  have  several  queens  about  here,"  answered 
Willie,  "so  we  have  to  distinguish  them,  and  this  one 
chose  to  call  herself  after  the  fine  lady  whose  picture 
in  the  bible  impressed  her  greatly." 

The  dusky  queen  came  in  answer  to  the  call,  but 
Baby  Rudolf  tucked  his  head  under  his  mother's  arn: 
and  refused  any  other  nurse,  so  Nellie  said : 

"The  little  Colonel  won't  leave  me,  sister,  anc 
you'll  have  to  let  the  queen  be  your  tire-woman.  She 
delights  in  such  service." 

And  to  the  queen's  joy  she  was  allow^ed  the  privi- 
lege, for  such  it  was  to  her.  Like  all  her  race,  she 
fairly  doted  on  pretty  apparel  and  enjoyed  seeing  hei 
"white  folks"  nicely  dressed  almost  as  much  as  hei 
own  self. 

And,  to  add  to  her  happiness,  Mabel  told  her  she 
should  select  the  gown  for  her  to  w^ear;  so  she  pickec 
out  a  shimmering,  pale  green  silk,  trimmed  with  deli- 
cately tinted  pink  and  cascades  of  filmy  lace.  Wher 
the  toilette  was  completed  she  stood  before  Mabel  with 
open  mouth  and  shining  eyes. 

"Oh,  Miss  Mabel !"  she  exclaimed,  "all  yo'  lack? 
ur  bein' uh  angul,  iz  Ttz/im^,?.  Lawd  o' mussy!  Mam- 
my pu'ly  gwine  shout  w^hen  she  see  yo'  now.  Lemme 
git  out'n  hyur  'n'  go  tell  de  folks." 

"Wait  till  you  get  my  hat,  please,"  said  Mabel 
smiling.     "I  hope  you  will  like  it." 

Lifting  the  dainty  creation  with  hands  that  trem- 
bled, she  placed  it  on  Mabel's  head,  then  with  a  bursi 
of  rapturous  laughter  she  fled  from  the  room,  ane] 
almost  ran  over  Colonel  Chester,  who  had  sought 
Mabel  to  know  if  he  must  "dress  up,  too." 

"What's  the  matter  w4th  your  maid?"  he  asked. 
"She  nearly  knocked  me  down,  and  never  stopped  to 
say  anything." 


"Poor,  simple  child,"  said  Mabel,  smiling,  "she  is 
carried  away  with  my  dress,  and  has  gone  to  tell  the 
others  that  they  may  share  her  joy.  I  must  give  her  a 
real  pretty  suit — she  is  so  unselfish." 

"As  usual,  kind,"  said  Colonel  Chester.  "Mabel, 
did  you  ever  have  anything  nice  that  you  didn't  want 
to  share  it  with  someone?" 

"Nothing,"  she  replied,  "that  I  can  remember, 
save,"  and  she  smiled  archly,  "your  heart." 

"And  that,"  he  responded,  "is  wholly  yours." 

"But  I  mustn't  come  first  of  all,"  she  said.  "Don't 
let  me  slip  in  before  the  One  to  whom  we  owe  all  that 
we  have.  We  are  not  allowed  to  make  idols,  you 

She  stood  before  him,  her  eyes  raised  to  him  with 
the  earnest  look  he  knew  so  well,  so  fair,  so  pure,  such 
a  vision  of  loveliness,  that  the  lover-husband  thought 
he  would  almost  be  excusable  for  idolizing  her. 

As  he  put  the  finishing  touches  to  his  toilette  he  de- 
clared he  had  never  taken  more  pains  with  his  ap- 
pearance, for  if  he  failed  to  stand  approved  before 
such  an  important  member  of  the  family  as  Mammy 
seemed  to  be  his  standing  would  certainly  be  affected. 

In  answer  to  his  inquiry  as  to  how  he  looked,  Mabel 
told  him  he  only  sought  an  expression  of  admiration, 
and  he  was  already  vain  enough.  To  which  he  replied 
that  he  had  never  held  a  very  exalted  opinion  of  him- 
self, but  since  he  had  succeeded  in  winning  such  a 
woman  as  she  he  had  concluded  there  must  be  some- 
thing in  him  to  admire. 

The  radiant  face  lifted  to  meet  his  caress  expressed 
what  she  teasingly  refused  to  say  in  words,  and  he 
smiled  well  satisfied. 

"You  are  not  complete  yet,"  she  said.  "Where  is 
my  little  gift — your  scarfpin?" 

"Ah,  my  dearest  piece  of  jewelry,"  said  he.  "A 
token  from  and  like  you — this  heart  of  pure  gold,  set 


with  pearls,  is  emblematical  of  its  donor.     Certainly 
I  need  it,  and  now  the  handsome  cane  Willie  sent  me, 
and  I  think  I'll  pass.     Come,  my  lady,  your  escort  is 
'  ready." 

Queen  had  summoned  Uncle  Tony  and  Aunt 
Peggy  to  join  in  her  admiration,  and  when  the  couple 
came  out  to  start  for  Mammy's  house  the  dark  faces 
expressed  more  delight  than  did  any  of  the  others, 
though  Willie  admitted  that  "Mab  looked  stunning, 
notwithstanding  her  red  hair." 

During  the  walk  Colonel  Chester  remarked : 

"Your  old  nurse's  house  is  some  distance  from  the 
home  place." 

"It  was  near  our  pretty  house,"  Mabel  answered, 

"and  as  that as  we  moved  a  short  while  before  the 

war  ended,  father  didn't  bring  Mammy  near  the  one 
we  fled  to " 

The  gentleman's  outflung  hand  stopped  her. 

"Darling,"  he  almost  groaned,  "I  beg  you  to  hush." 

For  a  little  while  there  was  silence  between  them, 
then  he  resumed : 

"I  will  be  so  glad  when  Willie  builds  the  house  he 
intends  and  pulls  down  those  awful  chimneys.  They 
quite  spoil  all  our  nice  times  out  on  the  piazza,  loom- 
ing up  tall  and  lonely,  and  reminding  me  always  of  the 
only  act  of  vandalism  I  ever  committed,  and  which  I 
have  repented  of  enough  to  satisfy  anyone.  Surely  I 
suffered  enough,  but  I  don't  blame  you  for  holding 
out  like  you  did.  Loving  your  home  as  you  do,  I 
wonder  that  you  ever  could  forgive  and  love  the  de- 
stroyer of  that  home." 

I  loved  first  and  forgave  afterward,"  said  Mabel, 

but,  had  you  remained  an  unbeliever,  you  would  have 

never  been  to  me  what  you  are  now.    Don't  you  think 

trying  to  shake  my  faith  was  as  bad  as  burning  my 

home? — one  you  did  in  the  heat  of  passion,  the  other 



deliberately.  A  big,  learned  lawyer  against  a  simple 
girl.    Aren't  you  ashamed  ?" 

"Heartily,"  he  confessed,  "but  you  are  wrong; 
'twas  a  foolish  man  trying  to  controvert  the  power  of 
a  pure,  sincere  life.  My  scepticism  had  to  yield  to  the 
living  proof  of  what  perfect  faith  could  do.  I  tell 
you,  Mabel,  if  Christians  would  live  what  they  profess 
to  believe  they  could  conquer  all  opposition." 

"You  are  right,"  she  admitted,  "but  we  are  not  to 
suppose  one  isn't  sincere  because  he  does  wrong  some- 
times. We  see  the  wrong  act ;  we  can't  see  the  agony 
he  may  endure  because  of  his  fall,  and  isn't  it  comfort- 
ing to  know  that  the  One  who  can  give  peace  to  the 
burdened  soul  does  see  and  understand!  I  think  if 
human  beings  could  know  what  their  fellow-creatures 
often  suffer  they  would  be  kinder  in  their  judgments. 
But,  to  change  the  subject,  I  am  so  glad  you  and 
father  agree  politically." 

"I  am  glad,  too,"  responded  Colonel  Chester,  "and 
now  that  I've  followed  you  and  the  mother  religiously 
I  suppose  you'll  receive  me  into  full  fellowship." 

"Mammy  must  pronounce  upon  you  yet,"  said  Ma- 
bel, smiling,  "and  here  we  are  at  her  house.  I'm  glad 
to  see  it  has  been  fixed  up  nicely." 

"She  has  it  decorated,"  said  Colonel  Chester. 

"That  is  her  crop  of  red  pepper,"  explained  Mabel. 
"She  saves  it  that  way,  and  I  think  those  ropes  of  red 
make  a  pretty  touch  of  color.  They  certainly  look 
natural  to  me." 

Viney  met  them  at  the  door,  eyes  and  teeth  shining 
as  she  welcomed  "little  missy,"  and  showed  her  to  the 
bed  where  Mammy,  held  down  with  age  and  infirmi- 
ties, awaited  the  coming  of  her  "chile."  Colonel  Ches- 
ter's eyes  moistened  as  he  saw  the  rapturous  meeting, 
for  the  old  nurse's  arms  went  around  the  silken  waist, 
and  for  a  few  moments  the  fair  face  rested  against  the 

242  'MABEL    GORDON, 

withered  black  one,  while  Mammy  "blessed  de  Lawd" 
for  sparing  her  to  see  her  "babe"  once  more. 

Then,  releasing  Mabel,  she  held  out  her  hand  to  the 
gentleman,  bidding  him  welcome  for  her  darling's 

"An'  yo'  dun  married,  honey,"  she  said.  "Yo'  got 
uh  fine  lookin'  man,  an'  I  'spec's  he  gwine  tek  good  keah 
uh  yo',  do'  I  wuz  'posed  tub  de  match  twel  Mis'  Mar- 
get  telled  me  'bout  de  turble  times  yo'  bofe  had  'cause 
uh  one  nudder,  an'  dat  he  dun  foun'  de  dear  Sabior,  an' 
den  I  wuz  willin'.  De  good  Lawd  let  ole  nigga  see 
huh  chile  an'  her  husban'  cum  tub  de  ol'  home.  It 
ain'  fine  lak  de  one  dem  vilyuns  'stroyed,  Mahs  Run- 
nel, long  wid  de  pictur's  'n'  chiny  'n'  piannah,  do'  de 
'stroyance  o'  dat  nebber  hind'unce  my  chile  fum  larnin' 
music,  same  ez  de  town  gals.  A  Gawd'n  not  tub  be 
tu'n'd  fum  ennyting  dey  sets  out  tub  do,  an'  dis 
blessed  chile  tawked  de  mattah  wid  me,  an'  de  upshot 
uh  it  all  wuz  we  'ranged  fo'  bur  tub  tek  de  lessons. 
When  yo'  mar'd  her,  mahster,  yo'  didn't  git  no  trash, 
fo'  we  iz  people." 

"Mammy  is  on  her  favorite  theme  now,"  said  Mabel, 

"Let  her  talk,"  responded  Colonel  Chester;  "I  like 
to  hear  her." 

"Yas,"  went  on  Mammy,  "I  proud  tub  know  uh 
chile  I  he'p  rais'  dun  so  well,  but  I  alius  knowed  dis 
y  gwine  do  fine.  When  she  a  little  gal  hip'n  huh  ma 
in  de  house  'n'  dairy,  an'  w^earin'  huh  gingum  frocks, 
I  knowed  dat  sum  day  she'd  be  uh  gran'  lady,  fo'  de 
bible  seh  dat  dem  whut's  fa'ful  in  little  things  gwine 
be  made  rulers  ober  great'ns,  an'  now  hyuh  she  iz,  all 
dress  up  in  bur  silks  'n'  jools,  same  ez  Queen  Jezebel, 
V  it  do  my  ol'  eyes  good  tub  see  huh."  ^ 

"You  still  compare  me  to  bible  characters,"  said 
Mabel,  with  a  smiling  glance  at  her  husband.  "Who 
reads  for  you  now,  Mammy?" 


"Diff'unt  ones.  Siimtimes  Miss  Nellie  fetches  dat 
blessed  baby  ober  kyuh,  'n'  she  read,  but  none  un  'em 
reads  lak  yo',  honey.  Effen  yo'  ain'  in  uh  hurry  I'd 
lak  tub  beer  sum  o'  de  sweet  truf  dis  ebenin'.  Viney, 
fetch  de  Book  tub  little  missy,  an',  Mahs  Kunnel,  ef 
my  feelin's  gits  de  better  o'  me  while  my  chile  reads, 
yo'll  hatter  'scuse  me.  Mah  book's  wea'in'  out,  honey, 
but  it'll  las'  tell  I'm  dun  needin'  it.  Dat's  de  same  one 
we  uster  cumfu't  one  'nudder  wid  long  'go.  Yo'  'mem- 
b'unce  dem  times,  I  reck'n  chile." 

Mabel  took  the  old  book  with  gentle  hands.  The 
leather  binding  showed  much  handling,  and  there  were 
numberless  finger  prints,  for  Mammy  loved  to  turn 
the  pages,  though  she  could  read  nothing  of  the  pre- 
cious truths  it  contained. 

Mammy  folded  her  hands  on  her  breast  and  closed 
her  eyes.  Viney  took  her  seat  at  a  respectful  distance, 
motioning  to  some  little  negroes,  who  peeped  in  jus! 
then,  to  come  and  sit  beside  her.  Colonel  Chestei 
rested  his  head  against  his  hand,  and  Mabel  began  in 
a  low,  clear  tone : 

"  'He  that  dwelleth  in  the  secret  place  of  the  Most 
High,  shall  abide  under  the  shadow  of  the  Almighty.'  " 

"Bless  de  Lawd!"  exclaimed  Mammy,  and  all 
through  the  beautiful  psalm  she  found  cause  for  rap- 
turous ejaculations. 

When  the  reading  was  finished  and  they  were  bid- 
ding good-bye,  Mammy  held  close  the  fair  hand  in  a 
clasp  that  loosened  reluctantly. 

"Cum  soon  ag'in,"  she  pleaded,  "fo'  of  Mammy 
not  goin'  be  hyuh  long.  She'll  be  watchin'  'n'  waitin' 
fo'  yo'  tub  cum  up  tub  de  heabenly  home,  fo'  please 
Gawd,  dar's  de  only  place  I'm  pendin'  on  bein',  an' 
dat's  de  place  He  dun  prepared  fo'  yo'  chile.  Hoi' 
on  tub  yo'  faith  en'  trus'  de  Lawd,  'n'  He'll  nebber 
forsake  yo'.  He'll  gie  yo'  strank  fo'  de  trials,  an' 
fetch  yo'  safe  through  de  dahk  places  'n'  deep  wattahs. 

f  >» 


De  Almi'ty  Wings  iz  bin  a  restin'  place  fo'  me,  'n'  so 
you'll  fin'  'em  ef  yo'll  'bide  unner  de  shadow  o'  'em. 
Dey  tells  me  yo'  iz  uh  great  lawyer,  Mahs  Kun'l,  but 
yo'  nebber  kin  know  de  floods  o'  glory  de  spehit  poahs 
into  dis  ol'  nigga's  soul.  I  prays  de  Lawd  tub  keep 
yo'  bofe  close  tub  Him,  fo'  yo'  bofe  my  chillun  now. 
Don't  fo'git  ol'  Mammy,  honey." 

Placing  her  hand  softly  on  her  nurse's  head,  Mabel 
answered : 

"Colonel  Chester  will  tell  you  I  remember  you  too 
well.    He  was  a  little  jealous  of  my  home  folks." 

"  'Twas  so  hard  to  get  her  to  care  for  me,"  ex- 
plained the  husband,  "and  she  longed  always  for  her 
dear  ones  here." 

"And  now,"  said  Mabel,  "he  says  my  people  shall 
be  his  people."  She  looked  at  him,  smiling,  and  he 
added  softly: 

"  'And  thy  God  my  God.' 

"Amen!  Amen!"  exclaimed  Mammy.  "Hallelu- 
yah !  Praise  de  Lam' !  Bless  de  Lawd,  I'm  see'n  'dis 

Then  she  admonished  "de  Kun'l" : 

"Now  yo'  got  my  chile,  yo'  mus'  be  mi'ty  good  tub 
huh  'n'  put  huh  in  ez  fine  uh  house  ez  dem " 

Mabel's  fingers  gently  laid  on  the  old  woman's  lips, 
checked  further  speech,  for  she  saw  the  color  rush  into 
her  husband's  face,  and  she  said  gayly: 

"You  should  see  the  beautiful  house  he  has  given 
me,  and  all  the  other  nice  things  that  are  mine.  I 
only  wish  my  dear  ones  could  share  my  pleasures. 
Even  your  pride  would  be  satisfied." 

"We'll  enj'y  knowin'  'bout  it,"  said  Mammy,  "en 
sum  day  we'll  all  share  de  glory  o'  dat  manshun  in  de 
skies.  Oh,  honey,  it  pays  tub  walk  in  de  highway  ef 
even  we  duz  fin'  it  tejus  sumtimes.  De  heartaches  will 
en'  sum  day,  an'  de  Lawd  Hisself  will  wipe  away  our 
tears.    All  dese  aches'Il  en'  den,  and'  honey,  dat  'minds 


me.  Tell  Mahster,  uh  Willie,  my  medsin  all  gone  'n' 
I  needs  mo'  spehits,  too.  Dese  triflin'  niggas  whut 
waits  on  me  sumtimes  tuh  res'  Viney  drinks  up  de  liq- 
uor. 'Tends  dey  sick  jes'  ez  long  ez  dar's  uh  drop  in 
de  jug.     I  don'  know  wot  iz  goin'  become  on  'em." 

"I'll  see  to  it  that  you  get  a  supply,  and  take  pleas- 
ure in  so  doing,"  said  Colonel  Chester,  smiling  at  the 
quick  change  of  subject. 

"Mammy  needs  something  stimulating,"  spoke  Ma- 
bel, quickly.  "We  have  been  taught  to  look  with 
horror  upon  the  use  of  strong  drink.  Father  is  an  ex- 
tremist in  his  views,  but  he  gets  Mammy  all  she  needs 

"Dat  he  do,"  put  in  the  old  woman,  "en'  I'd  uh  had 
plenty  now,  but  fo'  dese  idlin'  niggas  mekin'  b'leeve 
dey  sick  jes'  tuh  get  my  dram." 

"I'll  bring  your  medicines  and  the  little  gifts  I  have 
for  you  and  Viney,  and  will  leave  Colonel  Chester  at 
home,  and  we'll  have  one  of  our  old-time  talks.  You 
remember  how  you  used  to  smooth  the  tangles  out  of 
my  life  as  well  as  unruly  hair,  and  cheered  my  heart 
when  it  was  sad." 

Mammy  gave  Mabel  a  searching  glance,  which  she 
answered  with  a  bright  smile,  at  the  same  time  laying 
her  hand  on  her  husband's  arm,  seeing  which  the 
nurse  nodded  her  head  with  a  satisfied  expression  on 
her  face. 

"You's  had  yo'  share  o'  trials,"  she  said,  "but,  bless 
de  Lawd,  yo'  cum  out  victor'us.  I  prayed  mi'tily, 
honey,  fo'  yo'  heavenly  Fadar  tuh  be  nigh  yo'  'n'  tuh 
fetch  yo'  through  puah.  Ah,  chile,  ef  yo'  feet  had'n' 
bin  stayed  on  de  Rock,  ol'  Sat'n  ud  uh  toted  yo'  boda- 
shusly  off;  but  yo'  ma  gin  yo'  tuh  de  Lawd  when  yo' 
a  tiny  babe,  'n'  yo'  gin  yo'se'f  soon's  yo'  ol'  'nuff  tuh 
know  whut  yo'  'bout.  You's  hel'  on  tuh  de  faith,  'n' 
now  de  clouds  iz  gone  'n'  yo'  iz  at  peace." 

Promising  to  return  soon,  Mabel  said  "good-bye", 


Colonel  Chester  lifted  his  hat,  and  the  two  turned 

For  a  little  time  neither  spoke,  then  the  gentleman 
broke  the  silence. 

"Truly,"  said  he,  "you  have  in  the  negro  a  problem 
hard  to  solve.  I  believe  your  old  nurse  is  thoroughly 
good  and  devoted,  and  don't  wonder  you  love  her  as 
you  do.  They  all  claim  to  be  good,  and  seem  very  re- 
ligious, and  yet  they  set  at  naught  the  laws  of  God 
and  man  whenever  they  please." 

"They  are  a  peculiar  people,"  responded  Mabel,  "and 
only  Infinite  Wisdom  can  know  how  to  deal  with 
them  in  regard  to  the  hereafter,  but  there  is  a  part  of 
the  problem  those  who  are  accustomed  to  them  might 
solve  if  they  were  not  interfered  with  so  much  by 
people  who  know  nothing  of  them  nor  the  situation, 
and  who  really  don't  like  them  as  we  do.  Now  you 
fought  to  free  them,  and  can  you  tell  me  of  one  you 
love  as  we  do  Mammy  and  the  companions  of  our 

"I  cannot,"  answered  he. 

"And  yet,"  she  continued,  "you  are  unwilling  to 
trust  those  who  have  been  raised  with  them,  and  have 
kindly  feelings  toward  them,  to  manage  them  now." 

"I  am  certainly  willing  to  trust  you,"  he  replied. 

"You've  been  converted,"  she  retorted,  smiling 
archly,  "but  didn't  it  take  a  lot  to  effect  the  change! 
Poor  boy,  you  did  have  a  hard  lesson." 

"All  that  is  past,"  he  said,  "and  I've  entered  into 
peace.  I  can  take  up  life  with  a  cheerful  heart.  And, 
sweet,  I  don't  want  to  sadden  you,  but  you  must  not 
keep  me  away  from  my  work  too  long,  however  pleas- 
ant we  may  find  it.  I  must  rise  now  for  the  sake  of 
my  wife." 

Mabel  gave  a  sigh,  and  he  asked : 

"Does  it  hurt  you  so  much  for  me  to  speak  of  your 
going  back?    You  are  going  with  me,  dearest." 


"Yes,"  she  said,  "and  you  know  I  would  go  with  you 
anywhere,  and  'where  thou  lodgest  I  will  lodge';  but 
I  can't  help  a  feeling  of  sadness  at  the  thought  of 
leaving  my  old  home.  Sometimes,  Rudolf,  when  I 
first  went  to  stay  with  your  sister  I  nearly  died  of 
homesickness.  I  remember  writing  mother  that  all 
the  grand  sights  of  New  York  had  no  charms  for  me — 
the  cotton  fields  at  home  were  far  prettier  to  my  eyes." 

"Dear,  homesick,  little  girl,"  said  he,  tenderly;  "so 
sad  at  heart  and  yet  so  brave,  and  not  only  sad  but 
worried  with  my  bearish  ways.  Mabel,  will  I  ever 
make  amends  to  you  for  all  my  conduct?" 

"That's  all  past,  too,"  she  answered,  smiling  up  in 
his  face. 

"And  how  changed  life  is  to  me,"  he  said.  "How 
different,  too,  everything  about  here  is  now  from  what 
it  was  when  I  first  saw  this  place.  War  is  a  cruel 
thing  and  should  be  the  last  resort." 

"And  ours,"  she  said,  "need  not  have  been.  Father 
says  all  those  questions,  the  settling  of  which  cost 
both  sides  so  dearly,  might  have  been  settled  in  Con- 
gress, and  just  think  of  the  precious  lives  that  would 
have  been  spared,  and  of  the  suffering  that  might  have 
been  avoided!" 

"I  am  inclined  to  think  the  old  gentleman  is  right. 
'Twas  an  awful  struggle,  and  showed  the  world  what 
kind  of  soldiers  we  could  put  in  the  field.  There  were 
deeds  of  daring  on  both  sides  unexcelled  by  any  other 
nation,  still  we  might  have  gotten  on  very  well  with- 
out those  evidences  of  bravery,"  replied  Colonel  Ches- 

"I  think,"  said  Mabel,  "those  soldiers  who  met  in 
honorable  battle  cherish  only  respect  for  each  other. 
Our  people  have  no  hard  feelings  toward  men  who 
did  their  duty.     'Tis  the  wanton  vandalism  practiced 

by  some  that " 

"Mabel,"  he  interrupted  quickly,  "you  checked  your 


old  nurse  when  she  would  have  spoken ;  can't  you  spare 

"Dear,"  she  answered,  "you  are  over-sensitive.  I 
didn't  mean  my  remark  for  you,  though  we  suffered 
terribly  because  of  what  you  did." 

"I  know  it,"  he  said  earnestly.    "I  was  sorry  as  soon 
as  my  anger  cooled,  and  after  you  came  and  stole  into  ' 
my  heart — ah,  well    I    found    what   suffering   meant 
when  you  steadfastly  refused  my  love  and  left  me. 
If  I  caused  sorrow,  I  also  felt  it." 

The  fingers  of  the  hand  he  held  tightened  on  his. 

"I  have  heard,"  went  on  Mabel,  "that  some  of  our 
men  retaliated  in  kind  on  a  few  occasions,  and  I  was 
sorry,  for  we  want  to  feel  that  they  left  no  wounds 
that  even  time  fails  to  heal.  Our  leaders  wanted 
nothing  unsoldierly  in  their  men." 

"You  wrong  ours,"  said  he,  "if  you  believe  they  en- 
dorsed such." 

"You  had  some  fine  men,"  she  acknowledged, 
"magnanimous  men,  to  whom  we  yield  their  meed  of 
praise;  but " 

"I  know,"  said  he,  "and  I  grieve  to  acknowledge  it, 
that  you  have  just  cause  to  remember  some  bitterly." 

"Well,"  she  said,  "the  war  is  over,  and  the  wounds 
are  healing  some.  I  pray  we  may  never  have  another, 
and  that  the  time  will  hasten  when  the  Prince  of  Peace 
will  reign  in  the  hearts  of  all  men." 

They  had  reached  the  summit  of  a  little  hill,  at  the 
foot  of  which  a  brook  rippled  past  and  wound,  like  a 
thread  of  silver,  into  the  depths  of  the  woods  beyond, 
whence  came  a  bird's  clear  evening  song. 

Over  the  fields,  where  hung  the  heavy  ears  of  corn, 
the  soft  breeze  brought  the  lowing  of  home-driven 
cattle.  A  band  of  cotton-pickers  were  piling  high  the 
fleecy  staple,  while  they  sung  with  fine  effect  an  old 
plantation  melody. 



Across  the  West  the  traveling  day^ 
Was  hast'ning  to  depart." 

Long  rays  of  golden  light  fell  on  the  peaceful  land- 
scape and  brought  out  the  rich  autumnal  hues  of  the 

Colonel  Chester  paused  and  removed  his  hat. 

"Mabel,"  said  he,  "standing  here  with  you  and 
taking  in  the  quiet  beauty  of  this  scene,  I  do  not  won- 
der you  grew  up  so  unspotted.  These  surroundings 
fill  me  with  reverence  and  recall  a  beautiful  senti- 
ment from  a  great  writer:  'The  world  henceforth 
becomes  a  temple,  and  life  itself  one  continued  act  of 
adoration.'  To  you,  my  beloved,  I  am  indebted  for 
being  able  to  understand  his  feelings,  and  am  other 
than  the  miserable  unbeliever  I  was." 

"Not  to  me,"  she  cried.  "Oh,  Rudolf,  not  to  me. 
To  our  God  give  all  the  honor  and  glory." 

"To  Him  first,  of  course,"  he  replied,  "but  to  you, 
too,  because  of  your  unfaltering  fidelity  and  sincerity. 
Love,  'twas  shameful  in  me  to  tease  you  as  I  did.  Do 
you  remember  my  calling  you  'Saint  Mabel'?" 

"Yes,"  she  said;  "but  even  then  I  had  a  hope  you 
would  some  day  see  the  error  of  your  way." 

"For  all  you  coolly  told  me  you  would  never  trou- 
ble me  about  it,  and  seemed  to  think  the  heathen  over 
the  seas  more  precious  than  I." 

Lifting  her  face,  filled  with  emotion,  she  answered : 

"And  now,  and  for  all  time,  your  welfare  will  be 
my  constant  care.  Always  I  bear  you  in  my  prayers 
to  Him  who  has  brought  us  safely  through  so  many 
sorrows,  who  let  us  meet  'and  read  life's  meaning  in 
each  other's  eyes.'  And  my  earnest  prayer  is  to  be  to 
you  a  helpmeet  indeed." 


Drawing  her  close  within  his  arms,  his  rich  tones 
deepening  as  he  spoke,  he  said : 

"I  know  it.  Ah,  Mabel,  sweet  wife,  of  you  it  may 
truly  be  said : 

''  'The  heart  of  her  husband  doth  safely  trust  in  her.'  " 




This  BOOK  may  he  kept    out  -3^*50 
^SftQ  ONLY,   and  is  suhject  to  a  fine 
ot  ^i^S* CENTS  a  day  thereafter.     It  was 
r.iVftn  "lit  on  the  day  indicated  below : 

JUN  5    1956 



--    I*  ■•  ■+•  \V*:  ?^i  "^  uCI